BRADENTON, Fla. — Birmingham-based Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc. continues its expansion efforts with the hiring of former Alabama state senator Steve French and the acquisition of San Francisco-based Nollenberger Capital Partners, the firm announced Tuesday.

French, a three-term Republican who holds Series 7, 63, and 65 securities licenses, will work in the municipal finance group as a senior vice president focusing on client development, according to Hanson Slaughter, Sterne's executive managing director of public finance.

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