Three weeks after jumping into the municipal bond industry, Jefferies & Co. hired Roy Carlberg to run its muni underwriting desk, the firm announced Monday.

Carlberg, 42, has been in the industry for 18 years, including a stint managing muni underwriting at Bear, Stearns & Co.

This hire is part of the expansion of Jefferies' municipal securities group, which the company formed when it bought Depfa First Albany Securities at the end of March.

Kenneth Gibbs, who was chief executive officer at Depfa First Albany and now heads Jefferies' municipal business, said Carlberg will be part of the leadership team seeking to fill "a real vacuum" in munis.

"There's a tremendous market opportunity to expand what we do in the marketplace," Gibbs said.

Gibbs said Carlberg is experienced leading bigger deals than the ones Depfa has traditionally done. That fits with the company's strategy to become a bigger force in underwriting.

"We are in process on a bigger buildout nationally," Gibbs said. "We're looking to grow in terms of the size of the deals we do nationally."

Neil Flanagan, head of public finance at Jefferies, worked with Carlberg for 15 years at Bear Stearns. Flanagan called Carlberg "a great talent."

One of the reasons Jefferies hired Carlberg was for his experience with taxable munis in light of investors' enthusiastic reception of Build America Bonds, Gibbs said.

Bear Stearns was co-book-runner for a $10 billion Illinois general obligation pension bond sale, which was The Bond Buyer's Midwest Deal of the Year in 2003.

About 70 people from Depfa joined Jefferies when the deal closed last month. Gibbs said he expects more people to join soon.

Jefferies provides more capital and resources than Depfa had as a standalone business, Gibbs said.

Carlberg will manage underwriting for competitive and negotiated muni offerings and will report to Gibbs and Alan Greco, who is head of municipal sales and trading at Jefferies.

"I am delighted to join Jefferies and be a part of the firm's municipal group and thriving fixed-income platform," Carlberg said in a statement. "The firm's financial strength, full-service platform, and strong franchise were key factors in my decision to join Jefferies."

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