CHICAGO — In a move that elevates its public finance standing in Missouri, St. Louis-based Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. has hired seven bankers from competitor Wachovia Securities, including the local municipal group's manager Anne Noble and school district financing veteran Lorenzo Boyd.

The group of seven started at Stifel over the last two weeks and were not among the roughly 25 members of Wachovia's municipal group whose positions were cut this week. Wachovia Corp. announced it would trim about 500 positions across its global markets and investment banking business in conjunction with its announcement of a $708 million first quarter loss.

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