As Wall Street's largest banks have suffered losses and shrinking capital positions, they have been unable to prevent widespread turmoil throughout the municipal market. As a result, the relationships between Wall Street banks and their issuer clients appear strained. That reality, and staffing changes, have led bankers to seek other alternatives.

Most recently, ex-Morgan Stanley banker Andrew Garvey joined Cain Brothers & Co. to run its municipal capital markets business. Garvey, the head of Morgan Stanley's tax-exempt unit before abruptly leaving last May, said he chose Cain because of its entrepreneurial spirit and "client-first" mentality.

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