SAN FRANCISCO — D.A. Davidson & Co. has announced the hiring of four investment bankers in its Seattle office, in a move the firm says cements its commitment to being a major player in the regional public finance market.

“We’ve been working quite frankly on trying to hire the right people out here for some time,” said Kreg Jones, managing director for fixed-income capital markets. “There’s no doubt this is a major event for us and also the Washington marketplace.”

Joining the firm are two bankers each from the Seattle offices of UBS Securities LLC and two from Banc of America Securities LLC.

New senior vice presidents are David Trageser, from Banc of America, and Jack Eaton from UBS. Coming aboard as vice presidents are Chad Cowan from UBS and Suzanne Eide from Banc of America.

Eaton brings more than 35 years of public finance experience to his new position, most recently as manager of UBS’ K-12 education team in Seattle.

Eaton and Cowan will focus on K-12 education, joining senior vice president Jon Gores, who joined D.A. Davidson in 2006.

Trageser has 23 years of experience in the Northwest public finance market, working with cities, school districts, housing authorities, and other organizations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Trageser and Eide will focus on general municipal finance, joining senior vice president Fred Eoff, who has been with the firm since 2002.

“It gives us far more capability in the Puget Sound region,” Jones said of the Seattle expansion. “All of those people have done a fair amount of banking in the Oregon marketplace, which we’re interested in expanding to.”

The new hires are the natural outgrowth of the Great Falls, Mont.-based firm’s 2005 acquisition of Kirkpatrick Pettis, according to Jones.

“It gave us a much broader platform from which to operate and a much stronger institutional sales capacity,” he said. “As well being a regional, we can still reach down and do pretty small transactions as well. This gives us the ability to cover the spectrum.”

The new bankers all started this month.

D.A. Davidson ranked 11th among Washington state underwriters in 2007, according to Thomson Financial, credited with $220.1 million of volume.

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