Stone & Youngberg LLC expanded its New York office by hiring four public finance people from Goldman, Sachs & Co., Merrill Lynch Co., Banc of America Securities LLC and JPMorgan.

Ken Williams, Stone & Youngberg's chief executive officer, said in an interview yesterday that the regional municipal bond underwriter is looking to pick up some of the talented people displaced from the big banks by the credit crisis.

The San Francisco-based company has added 15 people to its 220-person work force since September, he said.

With some of the biggest banks struggling, Stone & Youngberg is looking to pick up more business in new regions, according to Williams.

The hires allow the company to expand in the Northeast region, he said.

"In all the disruption that's going on in the large firms, there have been a lot of very talented people available to firms like us," Williams said. "It creates pockets of opportunity."

Stone & Youngberg said yesterday it hired Jay Murphy as head of national underwriting. Murphy has worked at Goldman Sachs since 1980, most recently co-managing the municipal syndicate desk.

The firm tapped Jeff Hyman, who previously ran the Northeast munic ipal group at JPMorgan, to be a managing director in Stone & Youngberg's public finance group.

"We believe the current environment provides a significant opportunity for us to grow our business in the Northeast," Steve Heaney, head of public finance, said in a statement. "Bringing in the expertise of key industry players such as Jay and Jeff allows us to significantly accelerate growth in the Northeast and at the same time bolster our existing practice in other parts of the country."

The company also hired Emily Chan as an associate in the public finance group and James Robertson as a vice president in institutional sales and trading.

Chan formerly worked at Merrill Lynch and Robertson worked at Banc of America.

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