Rafael Pagán has joined First Southern Securities as a managing director.

BRADENTON, Fla. - Georgia-based First Southern Securities has hired Rafael Pagán to help the boutique investment banking firm break into the mergers and acquisitions sector.

Before joining First Southern, Pagán was executive director in the investment banking group at UBS Puerto Rico, where he had worked for more than 18 years.

"We welcome Rafael as a managing director of FSS and look forward to establishing a footprint in the M&A space with Rafael's leadership," said W. Heath Hawk, chief executive officer.

Pagán said his areas of expertise have been in corporate and public finance with an additional focus in M&A advisory engagements.

He has also served as buy and sell-side financial advisor on public-private partnerships assignments.

Pagán has advised the winning consortium on the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport concession; a bidding consortium on the PR-22 highway concession; on behalf of Abertis in refinancing the debt on the Teodoro Moscoso Toll Bridge and renegotiating the concession agreement with the government of Puerto Rico; and for Puerto Rico in the privatization of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority.

In addition to M&A deals, Pagán said he has participated in more than $750 million of debt offerings and private placements for commercial and hospitality real estate projects as well as more than $1 billion of preferred stock and follow-on offerings for financial institutions in Puerto Rico.

In the public sector space, his work included more than $15 billion of debt issuances for the government of Puerto Rico and its instrumentalities in Puerto Rico and in the U.S. tax-exempt markets.

Pagán received a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a master's degree in international development economics from Yale University.

While receiving a bachelor's degree from Haverford College, he attended the London School of Economics and Political Science where he completed the one-year general course program.

Based in Alpharetta, Ga., First Southern Securities LLC is a broker-dealer specializing in investment banking, municipal bond sales, and trading tax-exempt and taxable municipal bonds primarily in the secondary market.

The firm's deals clear through Hilltop Securities.

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