Morgan Keegan & Co. yesterday said it has added nine new municipal professionals in the Northeast region, joining the list of firms that continue to expand in the muni market as disruptions hit larger Wall Street banks.

The hires by the Memphis-based company in recent months include a number of industry veterans on both the banking and sales and trading sides, including Donald O'Brien, Joseph Tait, and Robert Coven, who all join as managing directors. Eight of the new hires will work out of the New York City office and one will work from Boston.

"Despite the changes in the industry today, we continue to focus on our clients and to look for opportunities to better serve them and to expand the services we offer," Robert A. Baird, president of fixed-income capital markets and head of public finance investment banking, said in a statement. "One way to do that is to attract the best of the best to the Morgan Keegan team."

The hires mark further expansion into the Northeast region by Morgan Keegan. The firm last year hired Mike Tierney as a managing director in its New York office, a year after he had retired from a 27-year career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. In addition, the firm last year acquired New York-based Shattuck Hammond Partners.

O'Brien came aboard as a senior municipal underwriter after 21 years with Morgan Stanley, most recently as a managing director in its capital markets division. O'Brien, who has worked in the industry for 29 years, served on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board for the past three years, including as vice chairman, before stepping down when he left Morgan Stanley earlier this year.

Tait and Coven both come to Morgan Keegan after working as executive directors at UBS Securities LLC, which closed its public finance business earlier this year. With more than 20 years of experience in mortgage and housing finance, Tait joins Morgan Keegan as a managing director in the national housing group. Coven, also a 20-year industry veteran, joins as a managing director in the public finance banking group with a focus on municipal clients in the Northeast region.

Alexander Shih also comes to Morgan Keegan from UBS, joining as a first vice president in the public finance banking group. He worked at UBS for 10 years, most recently as a director in the municipal securities group.

Four of the other New York hires come from JPMorgan or Bear, Stearns & Co., which JPMorgan acquired earlier this year.

Chris Durso joins Morgan Keegan as a senior vice president after 23 years at Bear Stearns, most recently as a senior managing director. At Morgan Keegan, he is responsible for all institutional long-end trading.

William Hannan, a 20-year municipal sales veteran, joins from JPMorgan, where he was a vice president in institutional sales. He will serve as a vice president of municipal sales at Morgan Keegan.

Garrett Ferris, a 12-year municipal veteran, joins as a vice president of municipal sales after serving as an associate director at Bear Stearns. Kiran Patel joins as an associate vice president of municipal sales after working as an associate in municipal sales at JPMorgan.

Rick Simonsen comes to Morgan Keegan as a senior vice president of municipal sales working out of Boston. He has 22 years of experience, most recently at Banc of America Securities LLC, where he served as a principal and senior sales representative and set up the firms municipal sales office in Boston.

Morgan Keegan ranks 11th as a senior manager nationally, working on 403 issues with a par value of $9.55 billion so far this year, according to Thomson Reuters. It ranks first a small-issue manager, working on 229 deals with a par value of $1.34 billion.

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