CHICAGO — Two former Grigsby & Co. public finance bankers, Wayne Pierce and Susan Homeier, have joined St. Louis-based Stern Brothers & Co.’s Chicago office as part of the firm’s ongoing efforts to broaden its reach across regions and sectors.

The two started earlier this month as managing directors and will pursue banking and financial advisory work with area issuers.

“Stern Brothers & Co. is pleased to have Wayne and Susan join the firm,” the broker-dealer’s chief operating officer, Tim Hosler, said in a statement. “Both are highly experienced investment bankers, whose existing clientele fits well with our resources and capabilities. We saw an opportunity to add talent and experience to our Chicago area presence and took advantage of it.”

The announcement from Stern Brothers makes no mention that Homeier and Pierce most recently worked at Grigsby. The firm has come under scrutiny for its role in a failed Illinois Student Assistance Commission investment, resulting in negative headlines that could influence local issuers about whether to include the firm in their underwriting teams.

A negative accounting of the ISAC investment was released earlier this year by the Illinois state auditor, and this month Secretary of State Jesse White’s securities department temporarily suspended the securities license of former Grigsby banker Alvin J. Boutte Jr.

The department accused him of providing misleading advice to ISAC in its $12.8 million private offering investment in the now-shuttered ShoreBank Corp. for its prepaid college tuition program.

Grigsby president Calvin Grigsby has defended the firm’s role, denying that it failed in its responsibilities. He has pointed to documents that note ISAC had hired an independent firm to conduct due diligence on its behalf. Grigsby was not included in any of the state’s underwriting pools following its recent request for proposals process.

A state finance official said the firm did not receive sufficient points and its exclusion was not tied to the ISAC investment.

Pierce, who specializes in housing, health care and education, only just joined Grigsby this year. He left in May. He previously held positions with Melvin & Co. and SBK Brooks Investment Corp.

Homeier joined Grigsby in early 2010 and left in June. During her time there, she worked on deals for large local issuers across sectors. She previously held positions at Piper Jaffray & Co. and the former Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson, now part of BMO Capital Markets.

Stern is on a hiring and national expansion spree. Over the last two years, it has opened offices in Texas, California, Reno, Detroit and Seattle. It has bolstered its public finance groups, sales team, and analytical staff as it seeks to double its size and expand its banking capabilities.

Grigsby banker Pamela Mobley and marketing and retail specialist James Hill cover the region for the firm. Mobley is based in Chicago and Hill is in St. Louis.

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