DALLAS - Specialized Public Finance Inc. continues to expand its reach in Texas, luring a ratings analyst to its Dallas office.

Paul Jasin, formerly a credit analyst with Standard & Poor's in Dallas, was named director at SPFI. Jasin begins working in his new post June 1, and he joins managing director Steven Adams and executive assistant Donna Watson in the office.

The firm expects that Jasin's "agency experience and understanding of credit issues will be extremely valuable to SPFI clients."

Last November, Adams, Garry Kimball and five other longtime First Southwest Co. executives left the Dallas-based firm to start SPFI in Austin.

Adams said the firm "has been pretty fortunate, so far," and continues to grow, mostly through "existing relationships formed over the years."

SPFI caters to mid-sized local governments and special districts across Texas. The firm seeks to assure the independence of its financial advisory practice, and therefore doesn't offer arbitrage-rebate consulting, investment management or other debt-oriented services, nor is it affiliated with any broker-dealer.

Kimball, Jeffrey Garland, Dan Wegmiller, and Jennifer Ritter Douglas are based in the Lone Star capital city, while Vince Viaille works out of an office in Lubbock in the Texas panhandle.

Wegmiller said the firm has handled about 35 deals in the six months it has been in existence and has upwards of 100 clients.

In a press release announcing Jasin's hiring, the company said its "founding partners recognized a need in the financial advisory field for providing client-appropriate representation in the public finance arena. Based on the credit market events of 2007 and 2008, the founding partners believe SPFI is uniquely suited to provide the independent financial advisory services its clients expect."

First Southwest has long been one of the largest financial advisory firms in Texas and is also one of the top broker-dealers in the region.

When SPFI was formed last year, Kimball noted that the firm will seek clients who want a financial adviser that doesn't also serve as broker-dealer.

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