CHICAGO - In a hiring mode, Chicago-based Mesirow Financial Inc. yesterday announced the addition of two Chicago-based municipal veterans - portfolio manager Joseph Piraro and sales professional Dominick Mondi - as the firm seeks to take advantage of Wall Street's staff cuts.

Piraro, 59, who started last week, will primarily work on the firm's municipal trading desk, while Mondi, who started a week earlier, will help lead the sales group. Piraro joined the firm after 16 years managing municipal portfolios at Oak Brook Terrace, Ill.-based Van Kampen Funds Inc. In taking the job, he returns to his municipal roots that were sewn for two decades on the trading desks of the former Continental Bank and First National Bank of Chicago.

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