CHICAGO - In hiring mode, Stern Brothers & Co. last week announced the addition of a veteran trader, a new chief compliance officer, and a public finance airport infrastructure specialist who will launch a new practice area for the St. Louis-based firm, which said more hiring announcements would be forthcoming.

Terri Smalinsky joined the firm as a managing director in a new airport infrastructure practice in Stern's Chicago office.

"She is a skilled investment banker with expertise in infrastructure project and structured finance, including privatization, for domestic and international clients," a company statement read.

Smalinsky previously worked with the Arlington Advisory Group and has represented several large corporations as an adviser to airport privatization transactions and financings. She has also served as an adviser for international clients with projects in countries including Hungary, Russia, China, Bulgaria, Poland, and Vietnam.

"We felt the expansion into airport infrastructure was a tremendous opportunity in an under-serviced area of public finance. Terri brings the solid experience and knowledge necessary to manage this new practice area," Stern president Terrence M. Finn said in a statement.

David Hubeli came aboard as a vice president in muni trading in St. Louis. He previously had spent 15 years at the former A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. that was acquired last year by Wachovia Bank. He had worked as the institutional fixed-income sales manager and served about 10 years as a municipal bond trader. In his career, Hubeli has managed brokers at a national level and coordinated sales and trading activities.

Mark Witte started as a managing director and chief compliance officer, also in the St. Louis office. He has worked two decades in the financial industry and previously held leadership and management roles in public finance, financial accounting, and most recently capital markets compliance with A.G. Edwards.

"We are thoroughly excited to welcome these three outstanding individuals to the organization," Finn said. "These three individuals have significant experience in the industry and will have a great impact on our operations and the services we offer to clients. We continue to seek and recruit exceptional people that bring a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill to the table."

All three started in July.

In addition to its St. Louis headquarters, the 91-year-old brokerage firm has offices in Kansas City, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and Tampa. Stern Brothers ranked 75th last year among senior managers on all bond issues totaling $260 million in 25 sales, compared to a ranking of 53d a year earlier. It ranked fifth in its home state of Missouri as a senior manager, with four deals totaling $140 million for the first half of the year. The firm ranked 22d last year in Missouri.

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