LOS ANGELES -- FTN Financial Capital Markets, a division of First Tennessee Bank NA, is continuing its expansion in the municipal bond market with the addition of a public finance department.

The firm recently expanded its municipal sales group in July when it hired six new traders and sales professionals. The establishment of the public finance department will complement FTN Financial’s municipal trading and competitive underwriting capabilities, company officials said.

Mike Allen, FTN Financial’s municipal products manager, said following last year’s expansion, the establishment of a public finance group was the next logical step.

“We plan to increase our commitment to the general market municipal platform and expand our public finance department, expecting significant market penetration,” Allen said.

To date, the company has opened offices in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, as part of its expansion. Rogelio Rodriguez in San Antonio and Don Henderson in Austin bring a combined experience of over forty years in Texas public finance. They have joined the public finance team and will focus on negotiated municipal bond transactions.

The company has also added Josh Mulholland to its municipal bond sales team, based out of the New York City office. Mulholland brings over 20 years of institutional municipal sales experience to the firm.

Company officials said they have already achieved significant results in the negotiated bond arena, participating in four transactions in January, including the solely-underwritten $88 million La Joya Independent School District refunding issue in Texas.

“Our objective is to provide real value to our customers — both issuers and investors alike — by bringing quality products to the market with our unique combination of vast distribution and available capital to deploy,” said Michael Kisber, president of FTN Financial. “We’re very excited with the level of enthusiasm and acceptance in the market that we have experienced with this strategic initiative.”

FTN Financial is a provider of financial products for the investment and banking community, offering fixed income sales, trading, and strategies services, with average trading volumes in excess of $5 billion per day. The company has over 50 traders and 165 sales representatives located in 19 offices, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.

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