DALLAS — Raymond James & Associates has added three executives to its public finance team and promoted another.

In Texas, the firm hired Ajay Thomas as managing director and John Hall as a vice president. Thomas will head the firm's Southwest general governmental finance group in a new Austin office. Joining the same group, Hall will work in San Antonio.

In California, Cheryl Hines has joined the firm as managing director in San Francisco, while managing director Eric Carl has been promoted to leader of the general governmental finance practice there. He replaces John Forney, who will continue as head of the firm's national general governmental finance team.

"The Southwest and Far West markets present important growth opportunities for our public finance practice, and these appointments reflect our intent to become a market leader in those areas over time," said Raymond James president Paul Reilly. "We expect that growth to continue as we bring on more professionals to round out our team."

Thomas and Hall both came from Morgan Stanley's Austin office. For the past two years Thomas was co-head and executive director of Morgan Stanley's multi-state Southwest region.

Hall for the past year was a public finance investment banker at Morgan Stanley. A former public finance attorney, Hall served as bond, underwriter's, and trustee's counsel on public finance transactions with the Winstead PC law firm in San Antonio.

Hines came from the San Francisco office of Merrill Lynch where she was a director in the public finance department for eight years. Her 20 years of Western region public finance experience includes a wide variety of transactions for the region's states and their agencies, numerous cities and counties, large K-12 school districts and higher education and health care.

Carl joined Raymond James in 1998, then in 2008 rejoined the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based firm as a managing director after spending four years with Bear Stearns' public finance department.

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