A veteran investment banker and former financial adviser with more than 20 years of experience in the municipal industry has been tapped to direct M.R. Beal & Co.'s West Coast muni finance operations.

Sean Boyea, 45, officially joined the New York-based investment bank last week as a managing director after leaving his position as executive director at Morgan Stanley, where he headed the firm's Los Angeles regional office for the past three years.

In his new role, Boyea will be responsible for supervising the firm's newly relocated Sacramento office, from which he will head the West Coast public finance effort. He is not replacing anyone in the role and the firm will consider adding banking professionals as needed, according to a spokesman.

Boyea's arrival comes as the firm's public finance volume is at its highest level in five years, according to figures provided by Thomson Reuters. Year to date in 2008, the firm completed nine senior-managed municipal issues totaling $1.39 billion versus just seven senior-managed deals in all of 2007 totaling $543.7 million - which was its lowest volume in the last five years.

In addition, this year Beal completed 101 deals as a co-manager totaling $3.71 billion - also its highest volume of co-manager participation in five years - compared with 123 deals as a co-manager totaling $3.16 billion in all of 2007, according to Thomson.

"California and the West Coast have long been a major geographic focus of ours and we expect Sean will help us garner an even more significant presence," said chief executive officer Bernard Beal.

In his career, Boyea has served many California public finance issuers across a variety of sectors, but is particularly strong in the transportation and utilities sectors, the spokesman said.

Prior to Morgan Stanley, Boyea was a senior managing consultant at Public Financial Management in San Francisco and Sacramento, where he managed and advised clients on municipal financings from 2001 to 2005. Starting in 1997, he owned and managed his own advisory firm called Boyea Capital Markets in Elk Grove for four years.

Prior to opening his own firm, he launched a California public finance office for Piper Jaffray Inc. in 1995.

He began his career in 1987 at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he worked for eight years in the firm's New York and San Francisco offices.

"Sean's experience in municipal finance and financial advisory services is widely regarded and we will greatly benefit from his leadership," Beal said.

"Early on in our careers we worked closely together at Goldman Sachs & Co. and I saw firsthand Sean's banking expertise and abilities," said Stan Grayson, chief operating officer and president of the firm. "I am excited to have the opportunity to again work with a banking professional of his quality"

Boyea has a bachelor's degree in business administration from California State University, and a master's of business administration degree from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California.

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