Stern Brothers closes up shop in Kansas City

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St. Louis-based Stern Brothers has shuttered its Kansas City, Missouri office, part of what the firm described as a “realignment” to house most of its institutional sales and trading teams at its headquarters.

The closure last week impacted about five sales professionals, said firm spokeswoman Lisa Liebschutz. The firm is realigning some operations following a review by Chief Operating Officer Linda Matkowski, who was hired last year by the firm’s chief executive, Pepe Finn.

While the firm wants bankers on the ground in regional locations, officials said it wants to concentrate sales and trading operations in St. Louis to enable quick “business decisions” and allow for “better communication,” Liebschutz said. The Kansas City employees were not asked to relocate.

No additional cuts or office closures are currently planned, Liebschutz said.

The firm also announced the hiring this week of 40-year municipal veteran Steven Cosner as a senior vice president in institutional sales. Cosner is charged with increasing and expanding the firm’s retail and institutional coverage of transactions and will review and update sales practices and assist in the implementation of various trade order management technologies. He will be relocating to St. Louis.

“Steve’s knowledge of the markets and of buy-side clients will also allow us to continue to modernize the retail and institutional desk by allowing us to add new technologies, sales, and trading strategies,” Matkowski said in a statement.

Cosner started his career as a retail broker with Drexel Burnham Lambert. He has held positions at First Interstate Bank and Bank of California, Piper Jaffray, De La Rosa & Co., and BOK Financial Services. He most recently worked at Great Pacific Securities in California where he established a California municipal sales and trading desk.

The firm earlier this year added Michael Placencia to its Sherman Oaks, California, office, where he is national head of infrastructure and transportation banking. The firm is looking to hire additional bankers in California.

Stern Brothers also has offices in Atlanta, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and New Jersey. The firm rose in the ranks last year, finishing 49th among senior managers, up from 67th in 2016, according to data from Thomson Reuters. The firm ranked 28th last year among co-managers, up from 37th in 2016 and 57th in 2015.

The wholly woman-owned firm said it ranked sixth last year among minority-owned U.S. municipal book-runners.

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