Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., currently ranked 15th senior manager in the country, according to Thomson Reuters, announced Monday that veteran banker Alan W. Murphy has joined the firm to oversee its competitive underwriting efforts.

Murphy is a senior vice president in the fixed-income capital markets group. He joined the firm’s office in Denver on Oct. 29, and will be drawing on his three decade-plus career to help national operations and expand the company’s footprint in the northeastern region.

“Alan has been a great addition to the firm,” said Michael Imhoff, managing director of institutional municipal trading, underwriting, and sales at Stifel. “He brings a depth of market experience and strong relationships that fit well with our approach.”

Murphy, 56, was pulled away from the Memphis-based investment bank Duncan-Williams Inc., where he had been senior vice president since ­February 2008.

“The great opportunity is that the firm is growing like crazy and it seems to be in all areas as best I can tell,” Murphy said of Stifel. “It’s probably one of the fastest-growing — maybe the fastest-growing — publicly owned regional firms.”

Stifel, a St. Louis-headquartered firm founded in 1890, increased its book-runner ranking to 15th this year from 27th in 2008, according to data from Thomson Reuters. From January through the end of November,  it has been senior manager on 227 issues totaling $2.95 billion. With Murphy on board the firm hopes to extend its reach to new areas.

Murphy’s career began in New York City when, armed with an MBA, he joined what would become Prudential Securities in January 1976 as a trainee. During his 28 years at the firm he rose to become the head of municipal underwriting and co-head of tax-exempt fixed income.

Murphy remained with Prudential even as it exited the institutional fixed-income world in 2000. As the firm was being acquired by Wachovia Securities — now called Wells Fargo Securities — in July 2003, he stayed on board coordinating new-issue product for the middle markets and retail sales forces.

In March 2004 he opened the U.S. capital markets operations at Popular Securities Inc. But when parent company Banco Popular withdrew from the U.S. mainland securities business as the financial turmoil hit markets in late 2007, Murphy moved to Duncan-Williams, opening the firm’s northeast regional office in Jersey City, N.J.

Stifel has been more active in public finance since its parent company, Stifel Financial Corp., acquired New Jersey-based Ryan Beck Holdings Inc. in February 2007.

“That opened up a market for Stifel in the Northeast with the retail and middle markets, and it was only a natural progression that they should go into institutional business there and into public finance banking,” Murphy said of the ­acquisition.

That deal was followed by the purchase of Ohio-based Butler Wick & Co. in December 2008, and by the March 2009 agreement with UBS Financial Services Inc. to acquire up to 55 branches from its wealth management network.

Murphy, in addition to his new role at Stifel, also began a one-year term as vice chairman of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board on Oct. 1. He had previously been on the board for nearly two years, and it was there that he and Imhoff worked alongside each other, an experience that led to his recruitment in October.

“Having recently served with Alan on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, I observed firsthand his professional and thoughtful approach towards matters affecting our industry, and look forward to that disciplined approach in our business as well,” Imhoff said.

In the past Murphy has also been secretary of the Municipal Forum of New York and president of the Municipal Bond Club of New York.

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