CHICAGO — More than three years after opening a Chicago office, Public Financial Management Inc. has hired longtime Jefferies & Co. public finance banker Jill Jaworski as its first financial adviser based in Chicago. The firm expects to announce hiring at least two additional advisers later this spring.

Jaworski will start at the firm on Monday as a managing director, said Jeanne Vanda, a managing director who works out of the firm's Des Moines office and serves as manager of the Midwest group.

"We have been looking for the right person for the office and I've known Jill for a number of years and have always been impressed by how well she represents her client's interest," Vanda said in an interview this week. "Jill is a good fit for PFM who will really anchor our efforts to expand our practice in the Chicago region."

Jaworski started at First Albany Capital — which evolved into Jefferies — more than 12 years ago. She has worked with clients as both a financial adviser and investment banker throughout Illinois and elsewhere in the Midwest and in Colorado in sectors that include general government and transportation, working on general obligation and revenue-backed credits.

"I am delighted to become a part of the PFM team," she said. "I am eager to make my own contribution, and this is an ideal opportunity for me to combine my knowledge of clients in the area to make a meaningful addition right away."

Jaworski leaves behind investment banking to join the top-ranked financial advisory nationally and in the Midwest. Advisers in the firm's 32 offices worked on 829 deals last year valued at $51.5 billion, for 16.4% of the market share, according to Thomson Reuters.

The firm ranked first in the Midwest, working on 246 issues valued at $7.9 billion, but in Illinois where it faces tough competition from several locally based firms, it ranked 10th, working on deals valued at $377 million.

PFM first established a physical presence here in August 2006, adding to its five Midwest public finance offices in Des Moines, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Ann Arbor, Mich. The Ann Arbor and Milwaukee offices were opened several years before Chicago and the Minneapolis operation grew out of PFM's 2003 acquisition of Evensen Dodge.

Initially, the Chicago office housed staff tied to the firm's asset management business. PFM has gained a foothold in Chicago, winning positions on deals for local borrowers like the Illinois Regional Transportation Authority, but it still has struggled without a local staff.

Though it took a few years to add a financial adviser, Vanda said the firm expects in the next month to add two more advisers and it has its eye on adding additional advisory and analytic staff. The firm's overall Midwestern staff has grown to at least 50 from just 10 individuals a decade ago.

The PFM Group employs more than 430 professionals nationally in its business lines that include the financial advisory group, asset management and strategic consulting.

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