CHICAGO - St. Louis-based Stern Brothers & Co. last month hired former GE Government Finance Inc. professional Miyun Cho to work in its Chicago office as the firm seeks to carve out a larger slice of Midwestern business outside of Missouri.

Cho joins three other bankers in the Chicago office, including Arlan Dohrmann, David Rasch, and Terri Smalinsky. All four are managing directors. The firm also employs the father-son sales team of John and Tom Shapiro as well as Jonathan Williams out of a suburban Chicago office.

Cho, a 20-year veteran of municipal and project finance, was previously a vice president and business development manager for the Midwest region at GE Government Finance, which underwrites transactions for its own direct investment. She has worked with both corporate and municipal clients on structuring taxable and tax-exempt financings, including multifamily housing bonds, industrial development bonds, port facility bonds, lease issues, higher education bonds, and other not-for-profit sector deals.

"We are very pleased to welcome Miyun Cho to the firm. She brings a very strong base of experience and knowledge to the table and her personality makes her a great fit for our team. She is refreshing and a very smart, capable banker. We are thrilled to have her," Stern spokeswoman Kimberly Goldstone said in a statement.

The firm continues to steadily add to its ranks, more than doubling in size since 2007. It has bulked up by picking up veteran market participants, many often displaced by the market and economic turmoil, especially from the firm's former competitor A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc., which was bought by Wachovia Bank NA in 2007 and has since been acquired by Wells Fargo Bank.

In addition to St. Louis and Chicago, the firm has offices in Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Tampa. Stern rose to 59th place in 2008 from 69th in 2007 among senior managers nationally and ranks 86th so far this year, according to Thomson Reuters.

In the Midwest, the firm ranked 39th last year among senior managers compared to 43d in 2007. In Missouri, Stern rose to 10th place among senior managers last year compared to 20th in 2007.

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