Grigsby & Associates Inc. has established two new regional offices, bringing the total to five for the California-based firm and extending its influence into two markets where it sees valuable growth opportunities.

With its main headquarters in San Francisco, Grigsby announced yesterday the opening of a Midwest headquarters in Chicago and a Southeast location in Shreveport, La. The new locations will join the firm's already established outposts in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and Birmingham, Ala.

The firm currently employs three bankers nationwide, according to Alvin BoutteJr., Midwest managing director, who will be the banker servicing both offices.

Although the firm already works with Chicago, the new office represents an added commitment to doing business in the city and a belief that the market will continue to grow, the firm said in a release. As the nation's oldest 100% minority-owned firm, Grigsby will look to capitalize on Chicago's stated goal of having the city and city-related issuers provide 25% of their business to minority-owned firms.

Though there is significant competition from other minority-owned firms, the firm expects that the Chicago headquarters will help the firm attract additional city work. Grigsby currently serves on the syndicate for the Chicago Transit Authority's $2 billion pension bond deal, expected to sell sometime in June.

"We've gotten our co-manager issue in Chicago, which is big deal for us and being able to expand across the border to Michigan and Ohio," Boutte said.

Grigsby was in the selling group for Ohio's Buckeye Tobacco Settlement Financing Authority's sale last year. The firm has also picked up financial advisory work, securing a contract to be the sole financial adviser for the city of Shreveport. The recently announced expansion began with that deal and Grigsby has now completed three deals for the city, Boutte said.

"A lot of people are centered on southern Louisiana, focused on New Orleans," Boutte said. "We figured there is a lot of business to be picked up in the northern area."

Grigsby in 2008 has participated as a co-manager in three deals worth a combined $65.5 million, ranking it 90th, according to data from Thomson Reuters. For financial advisory work, the firm has worked on deals totaling $19.9 million worth of business this year, ranking it 155th among financial advisors.

Last year, Grigsby ranked 60th among co-managers, with eight deals worth $525.7 million.

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