CHICAGO — New York City-based M.R. Beal & Co. has hired municipal finance veteran Jonathan Savage to promote its Midwest presence out of the firm’s Chicago office.

Savage joins the investment banking firm after a six-year stint at Detroit-based bond counsel Lewis & Munday PC, where he was chairman of the municipal and corporate finance group in the Lansing office.

Savage shifted between acting as an attorney or an investment banker throughout his 32-year career. He left Lewis & Munday in January.

“I want to do investment banking again, and I think there’s a role that a lawyer can play as an investment banker,” Savage said.

He starts Monday as a managing director and will join Osee Pierre, who came to the Chicago office in 2010 from Siebert Brandford Shank. With Savage, the 24-year-old, minority-owned firm will have two public finance bankers in Chicago. It has three in its Texas office and 11 in New York.

“Since 2005, we’ve had what I would call a significant presence in the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois,” said Stan Grayson, the firm’s vice chairman and chief operating officer.

“I think it’s a great city to be located in as a minority-owned firm,” he said. “There’s incredible sensitivity in terms of equal opportunity, and not just in public finance or investment banking.”

Savage will help increase the firm’s Chicago and Midwest business, Grayson said.

“Strategically, the Midwest is very important to us, and we’re going to judiciously try to grow our activities there,” he said.

“Jon’s experience of having been a banker and a lawyer on transactions is a special skill that will be extremely valuable to us.”

Savage began his career in 1980 at Chicago law firm Baker & McKenzie.

He later went to A.G. Edwards & Sons, where he headed up the public finance group. Savage has also worked as a banker at J.C. Bradford & Co. and ABN AMRO, as well as Bank One, now part of JPMorgan.

The firm ranked 30th among senior managers in 2011, and 26th through March, according to Thomson Reuters.

In the Northeast M.R. Beal ranked 19th among senior managers in 2011 and ranks 10th so far this year.

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