CHICAGO – Barclays is bolstering its Chicago team with three public finance banking hires at the expense of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Phillip Rooney, a general government banker with longstanding ties to Chicago and other large Midwestern issues, and veteran healthcare bankers Joseph Hegner and Josh Neaman are joining Barclays, according to sources.

Three veteran Chicago-based Bank of America Merrill Lynch bankers are headed to Barclays.

Neaman has officially started, according to regulatory filings. Hegner and Rooney are on "garden leave," sources said. Representatives from Barclays and Bank of America declined to comment.

Merrill Lynch, prior to its 2008 acquisition by Bank of America, hired Rooney from the former Bear, Stearns & Co. in a bid to resurrect the firm's dormant general municipal effort in the Midwest in 2003.

Heger had started a year earlier to strengthen the firm’s healthcare practice and Neaman joined in 2006, left in 2011, and returned in 2014.

Merrill had cut general bankers in 2001 to focus solely on healthcare, transportation, higher education, and housing. The combined firms have since added additional veteran bankers and grown into a top manager in the Midwest as it is nationally. BAML led the senior manager league charts in the Midwest region last year, credited with 94 negotiated issues valued at $12.2 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

The new bankers provide a big boost for Barclays -- where Chicago’s chief financial officer Carole Brown worked until she took the top city post in 2015 – on two sector fronts. Barclays finished 2016 in the fifth slot in the Midwest,credited by Thomson Reuters with leading 35 issues valued at $5.4 billion.

Rooney began his public finance career at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. He later moved over to Lehman Brothers and then to Bear Stearns.

Hegner joined Merrill Lynch in 2002 after five years at Goldman Sachs and four years at the former First Chicago Capital Markets.

Before joining Merrill 2006, Neaman worked on the banking team at the former RBC Dain Rauscher.

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