New York-based Samuel A. Ramirez & Co. plans to announce Monday that it has hired four bankers and is opening a new office in Austin.

The announcement follows a string of new hires in recent years, as Ramirez jumped 39 spots during the financial crisis to become the 21st largest underwriter in 2009 by dollar volume.

Last year it led 51 deals worth $2.97 billion, ranking it 22nd, according to Thomson Reuters.

Three of the new hires spent time at UBS before it exited the municipal business in 2008. Ted Sobel, head of public finance at Ramirez, spent 18 years with UBS or its predecessors and has been scouting the recruits since joining Ramirez in April 2008.

“Ramirez has a footprint in numerous places, nationally — the Northeast, Texas, Florida, Illinois, California, and Puerto Rico,” Sobel said. “This is part of our expansion and growth in those places.”

Phillip Culpepper joined the firm in November to lead the Chicago-based Midwest practice as a senior vice president. He spent the previous year as deputy executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority and for three years before that he was the director of debt management for the state.

Culpepper also served from 2004 to 2007 as a financial analyst with the Illinois Tollway Authority.

“Phil brings a wealth of experience from the issuer side,” Sobel said. “He has a great understanding of their perspective on things and knows how to craft solutions.”

Ramon Ortega, who Sobel called “a highly skilled quantitative banker,” joined Ramirez two weeks ago to serve alongside Culpepper as a vice president. He comes directly from BMO Capital Markets, where he was an associate for two years. Before that, he spent two years as an associate with UBS in Orlando.

Culpepper and Ortega are charged with covering all major issuers in the Midwest, where Ramirez led 13 issues last year worth $629 million.

Robin Redford begins work Monday out of the new office in Austin. She comes directly from Raymond James in New York.

Alongside Redford is fellow Texas native Lorraine Palacios, who joined the firm last month from RBC Capital Markets after serving as a vice president in San Antonio.

Redford and Palacios each started at UBS in 2001, where they worked together on structured-finance and housing issues. Sobel said the women were “two of the most highly regarded bankers in the entire organization.”

They each join Ramirez as senior vice presidents.

Ramirez has been in the Texas market for some 15 years, operating out of San Antonio.

The firm was senior manager on just two issues last year for $85 million, but it participated in 37 deals worth a total of $1.1 billion, which ranks it 11th among co-managers in the state.

“Our expansion in the Midwest and Texas is a continuation of … the firm’s strategy to enhance its banking presence in key areas of the country,” said chief operating officer Dan Keating.

He added that Ramirez seeks to develop one of the best municipal market platforms in the industry.

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