New York-based investment bank Jefferies & Co. announced Tuesday that it has added two professionals to its 90-member municipal securities roster.

Todd Carnevale was tapped as a managing director and head of municipal yield trading. Kurt Ahrens joined as a vice president for muni trading.

Carnevale joins the bank from Barclays Capital, which took over Lehman Brothers’ public finance group in late 2008. Carnevale was a managing director of the group for the past 24 years as a trader of high-yield and distressed municipal bonds. His responsibilities at Jefferies will be to continue trading high-yield structures as well as lower-rated taxable munis.

Ahrens comes from JPMorgan, where he spent seven years as an institutional bond trader. He also analyzed and implemented risk-management strategies, led competitive bidding efforts, and managed the municipal group’s relationship with the bank’s middle-markets and private wealth divisions.

Both hires will report to James McGinley, head of municipal securities markets, who himself joined the firm in June from Barclays.

Jefferies has been senior manager on 55 deals this year totaling $2.74 billion, ranking it the 18th largest underwriter. That ­volume compares with a total of $2.92 ­billion in 2009.

Kenneth Gibbs, president of the muni group, said the expertise possessed by Carnevale and Ahrens will support “crossover synergies” with other areas of the firm.

“Our group is committed to continuing to provide the highest level of service to our clients,” Gibbs said. “The strategic hiring of such well-respected, experienced industry professionals is an integral part of fulfilling that commitment,”

Gibbs was recently named one of nine advisers supporting efforts to rehabilitate Ambac Assurance Corp.

“Todd and Kurt are strong additions to Jefferies’ municipal business, and their hiring contributes to our goal to provide the best execution for all our clients,” said Tim Cronin, Jefferies’ global head of fixed income.

Jefferies first entered the muni market in March 2009 with its acquisition of Depfa First Albany — then the 17th-biggest managing underwriter and financial adviser for public finance deals.

The public finance group’s growth under the new parent has been impressive. The $2.74 billion of debt the firm has underwritten so far this year marks a 78% increase from the $1.54 billion of deals it led it 2007, when it was ranked 33rd.

A company press release said the expansion demonstrates Jefferies’ growing strength in fixed income, where it now has more than 500 professionals globally.

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