DALLAS - Stifel Nicolaus & Co. will open its first public finance office in Texas as part of a national expansion.

The St. Louis-based financial services firm named Nora W. Chavez as managing director of the new office in San Antonio, with Mario R. Carrasco and Lisa C. Vanderbeek as senior vice presidents.

Also working with the team will be associate Marisol Warneke and Mark Shamleffer as first vice president in the finance division.

Nora Chavez has worked in public finance for 20 years, the company said.

"The opening of the San Antonio public finance office marks another important milestone in our ongoing expansion efforts," Ronald J. Kruszewski, chairman and chief executive officre of Stifel Nicolaus, said in a statement. "We are pleased to be adding such talented individuals to our team."

Stifel has public finance teams in St. Louis, Denver, Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Wichita, Edwardsville, Ill., and Birmingham and East Lansing, Mich.

In July, the company opened its office in East Lansing with four executives who previously worked at Wachovia Securities. The Wachovia team was the number one underwriter for negotiated bonds in Michigan for the calendar year 2007 and the number one underwriter for K-12 bond issues through June 2008.

Stifel Nicolaus' public finance group has served as the sole or senior manager in nearly $12.9 billion worth of tax-exempt or taxable bond issues.

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