CHICAGO – St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Raymond James has hired former William Blair education banker Elizabeth Hennessy to lead an effort to build the firm’s Midwestern business in Chicago.

Hennessey joined the Chicago team last week as a managing director along with two other former William Blair professionals, bringing to nine the number of public finance professionals in Chicago. The office employs an additional three municipal underwriters and 14 institutional sales professionals.

Hennessy will work with kindergarten-through-12th grade borrowers and community college districts, and will lead “all public finance efforts in Illinois, servicing local governments and growing the firm’s presence in the state and throughout the Midwest,” the firm said in a statement.

“Liz is a highly regarded banker with a proven track record of success,” Gavin Murrey, co-head of Raymond James public finance group, said in the statement.

The other former William Blair professionals joining Hennessy at Raymond James are Paula Arnedo, an analyst, and Karen Barron, an associate. Chicago-based William Blair announced last month it was shedding its municipal bond business, abandoning an effort that started four years ago to expand the public finance practice to new regions.

Elizabeth Hennessy at Raymond James
Elizabeth Hennessy

Hennessy spent nearly three decades at William Blair where she led the Illinois school district finance team. She said she was looking forward to leading the firm’s “talented team” in Illinois.

Raymond James last year ranked 8th among broker-dealers on all issues and 7th on competitive issues, though it didn't make the top 10 cut on negotiated sales. It was ranked 3rd on small issues and 4th among co-managers on all issues, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

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