BRADENTON, Fla. - In what it says is a coup for a regional firm, Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc. has hired James "Jamie" M. Cortese as a managing director to head up municipal underwriting, sales, and trading in New York.

Cortese most recently was the managing director for national municipal underwriting at UBS Securities LLC. He had been with the company - which has now exited much of its municipal securities business - for 15 years.

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