Morgan Keegan & Co. has hired public finance veteran Kemp J. Lewis as a managing director in its New York office, the firm announced last week.

Lewis comes to Morgan Keegan with more than 20 years of experience, including 11 years at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he most recently led banking coverage of New York City and co-headed the derivatives marketing group. At Morgan Keegan, he will serve clients in the Northeast region and also work with bankers throughout the firm to help other municipal issuers.

"Kemp is well recognized in our industry for his ability to provide innovative ideas and problem solving solutions for municipal issuers," Rob Baird, president of fixed-income capital markets, said in a statement. "With his in-depth knowledge and experience of municipal finance, Kemp will be a valuable resource to our public finance clients throughout our footprint. In the changing landscape of our business today, Kemp's unique talents are valued more than ever."

The Memphis-based Morgan Keegan has expanded its presence in the Northeast region recently. It hired Michael Tierney of Goldman Sachs as a managing director in its New York City office in 2007 and last fall announced it had added nine professionals in the Northeast region. It also acquired New York-based Shattuck Hammond Partners in 2007.

"We began this year in a strong position as one of the nation's top 10 underwriters in a challenging market environment," Baird said. "With our team of dynamic public finance professionals, we expect to further grow our market share and continue to move higher in the underwriting rankings in 2009."

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