As part of its effort to further expand its municipal bond business, Mesirow Financial brought in two public finance pros to launch a New York office and enhance its Northeast public finance coverage.

Carlos Desmaras and Dominick Setari joined the Chicago-based firm as managing directors in the public finance group. As origination bankers, both will lead Mesirow’s public finance efforts in the Empire State. They will also focus on maintaining client relationships and expanding accounts in the Northeast, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Mesirow has recently spent a significant amount of time, effort and capital to build up sales and trading operations, according to Steve Hoopes, a senior managing director of the firm’s public finance department. Up until recently, Mesirow has had more of a regional focus, he noted.

“We’ve had a little coverage out in the Northeast in the last eight or nine years,” Hoopes said. “We’ve been concentrating primarily in the Midwest, and we’re trying to expand our footprint nationally now.”

Mesirow has 15 professionals in its public finance group. Desmaras and Setari opened the New York office.

The firm plans to expand the office with at least one analyst and possibly one more banker over the next year or so, Hoopes said.

Prior to joining Mesirow, Desmaras was a managing director of Northeastern public finance at Duncan-Williams Inc. In that role, he re-launched and headed the firm’s Northeast public finance business alongside Setari.

Desmaras earned an MBA from Columbia University’s business school and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds FINRA Series 7, 53 and 68 licenses.

Before Mesirow, Setari was a director of Northeast public finance at Duncan-Williams. While there, he successfully penetrated new syndicates, working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York State Bridge Authority, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Philadelphia School District and the state of Illinois.

Setari also earned an MBA from Columbia and a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University. He holds FINRA Series 7, 63 and 79 licenses.

Mesirow was founded in 1937. It is an independent, employee-owned firm with approximately 1,200 employees globally.

For 2011, the firm participated in 47 issues, totaling roughly $360 million by par amount, according to Thomson Reuters senior manager rankings. It ranked 56th among senior managers.

In 2010 it ranked 51st, participating in 67 deals worth $657 million by par amount.

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