Janney Montgomery Scott LLC over the last two weeks has announced a number of hires in New York as it expands its capital markets business

The Philadelphia-based firm hired former Merrill Lynch & Co. banker Michael Solomon to head up its new New York offices as a managing director. Solomon will split his time between the New York City and Albany offices.

Janney also announced this week that it has hired Christopher R. Long as a director and head of its short-term institutional trading desk and Timothy M. Kelly as a director of public finance.

The firm is looking to increase its business with a broad range of infrastructure issuers within the state - from city and county issuers to larger state issuers and public authorities.

Solomon said the firm is meeting with issuers and discussing possibilities of utilizing new or expanded programs available under the federal stimulus package, such as taxable Build America Bonds and qualified school construction bonds.

"It's all about educating the issuers and seeing where there's opportunities," he said.

A 22-year public finance veteran, Solomon spent six years as a banker at Merrill on deals that included transportation, education, and general obligation debt in New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan.

He started his career in public finance at Kidder, Peabody & Co. after college, and spent 11 years at Bear, Stearns & Co. before heading to Merrill. Last year Solomon served on a New York State commission on property tax relief that recommended imposing a statewide property tax cap.

Long joined Janney after spending 10 years with UBS Securities LLC, most recently as executive director and trader in the short-term institutional municipal securities trading group. He received a BA in business management from Saint Francis College in Brooklyn and an MBA from Fordham University.

Kelly joins Janney from JPMorgan, where he was an executive director in tax-exempt capital markets and the primary higher education banker for the Northeast and parts of the Midwest. Kelly graduated from the University of Albany.

Janney plans to continue to bulk up its New York offices with bankers and institutional sales force but "we don't have a target," said senior vice president and managing director Steve Genyk. "We just want good people to contribute to the overall growth of municipals at Janney."

As the Wall Street investment banks have fallen, downsized, or left the municipal finance business, many mid-sized and regional firms have seen opportunities to grow.

"We've been a spectator through these difficult times," Genyk said. "We're TARP-free and we haven't suffered any of the dislocation that our competitors have, so we bring stability of ownership and stability of the firm to the table."

Nationally, Janney has senior managed deals totaling $1.99 billion and co-managed $3.6 billion since 2005, according to Thomson Reuters. The firm ranks 51st so far this year among senior managers.

In New York, Janney has co-managed deals totaling $1.39 billion since 2005 but senior managed just $17.7 million of bonds during that time.

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