ALAMEDA, Calif. — Rice Financial Products Co. has added two municipal bond market veterans to its California ranks and plans to open a Los Angeles office by the end of 2010, the firm announced Friday.

Joining the firm as managing directors are Brian Corley, most recently with JPMorgan, and veteran banker Bernie Mikell.

Corley will manage the new Los Angeles branch. Mikell joins Rice’s Sacramento office.

“Brian and Bernie bring a diverse set of qualifications to our West Coast practice and to the firm overall,” chief executive Don Rice said in a statement.

“As a pair, they are ideally positioned to bring the creative problem solving we have become known for elsewhere in the country to municipal clients in California, Nevada, and other western states,” Rice said.

Mikell has been active in municipal finance for 35 years, as an investment banker for firms including Dean Witter, Sutro, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Bear Stearns, Citi, Fleet Securities, UBS, and Piper Jaffray & Co.

Mikell has extensive experience in the housing and public power sectors throughout the West. He also was general counsel to the California Housing Finance Agency during Jerry Brown’s first stint as governor from 1975 to 1983.

“Adding an aggressive California thrust to Rice’s long-term growth strategy will have a marked effect on revenues and rankings across the board,” Mikell said.

Corley has worked for 20 years as a municipal investment banker in California and other western states, including 12 years with JPMorgan. His experience has focused largely on transportation issuers, particularly toll facilities; power, water and wastewater utilities; and public-private partnerships.

“The long-term relationships I have developed with major bond issuers in the West will give Rice the entrée it needs to bring these ideas to the ­regional market,” Corley said in a ­statement.

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