BRADENTON, Fla. - St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Raymond James & Associates Inc. late Tuesday announced the promotion of John Forney as national manager of the firm's general governmental public finance department.

Forney previously was manager of the Southeast business unit and managing director in the public finance group.

Raymond James also promoted David Suttonto manager of municipal structured finance. He previously was director of the firm's quantitative services group where he specialized in structured municipal bond transactions and products such as swaps.

The promotion of Forney and Sutton, and the addition of four new directors, including three from Banc of America SecuritiesLLC, are part of a strategy to increase the Raymond James public finance business, said Van Sayler, senior vice president and head of fixed income.

"The appointment of John and David to their respective positions is part of our plan to significantly grow our municipal originations business," Sayler said. "Their track records combined with their management skills give me great confidence that Raymond James will be able to execute our growth plans."

As the financial adviser for Florida's two largest high-profile muni issuers - Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Finance Fund Corp.- Forney's work last year brought Raymond James in as the second-ranked financial adviser in the Southeast with $5.5 billion in two deals. In 2006, the firm was the number-one ranked financial adviser in the Southeast with $7.2 billion in four transactions, according to Thomson Financial.

Nationally, Raymond James last year ranked ninth as financial adviser with $5.5 billion in five issues and fifth in 2006, with $7.2 billion in seven issues.

Forney has a bachelor's degree in economics from Princeton University and a master's of business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined Raymond James in 1996, left the firm from 1999 until 2002 to become president of Rock of Ages, a Vermont-based publicly-traded manufacturer, and returned to Raymond James in 2002.

Raymond James on Tuesday also announced the hiring of four new directors in various offices of the public finance group.

"The current climate in the public finance arena has presented us with a great opportunity for expansion and hiring of experienced people with established books of business," Sayler said. "We are aggressively looking to add to our already top-notch pool of bankers, and we plan on taking advantage of some exceptional talent that has become available as a result of the turmoil in our markets."

Thomas Enrightjoined the general governmental public finance division in Detroit. Most recently, he was managing director of the Michigan public finance department of Oppenheimer & Co.

William Reaganjoined the public finance real estate division in the firm's Naples, Fla., office. Prior to joining Raymond James, Reagan was a principal and managing director with Banc of America Securities.

Jim Stewartis a new director in the Austin office focusing on K-12 schools. Stewart most recently was a vice president with Banc of America in Austin, where he was underwriter of more than $7.1 billion in school bonds.

James Buiejoins Raymond James' Dallas public finance office as a director. He previously was with Banc of America in Dallas as an investment banker who worked on more than $7.28 billion of debt with an emphasis in state agency transactions, municipal government, school district debt, higher education, and transportation.

As senior manager last year, Raymond James ranked 18th in the Southeast with just over $1 billion in 18 deals, and in 2006 the firm was 15th with $1.28 billion.

Nationally, Raymond James last year ranked 21st as senior manager with $2.32 billion in 74 issues, and the firm ranked 25th in 2006 with $1.76 billion in 78 issues.

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