LOS ANGELES - Bank of America yesterday announced it has hired Richard H. Litton, a former executive at First Southwest Co., as director of its Dallas municipal securities group.

Litton was a managing director and vice chairman of public finance at First Southwest until his resignation in June.

At Bank of America, Litton "will be responsible for coordinating the efforts of an integrated municipal securities group in the Southwest, encompassing the full range of banking, underwriting, derivative, and reinvestment services to the public sector," the bank said in a release.

Litton was president of First Southwest until late 1991, when a local investor group bought control of the firm. Litton's departure was described as "amicable" when a First Southwest executive confirmed the resignation in June.

Public finance professionals in Texas speculated at the time that Litton would soon open an office for another bond firm. Bank of America had been mentioned in connection with that talk.

Anthony J. Taddey, director of Bank of America's overall municipal securities operation, said yesterday that he has known Litton for over 20 years. Their affiliation dates back to when they worked for Merrill Lynch & Co., Taddey said.

Litton joined First Southwest five years ago after leaving the Dallas office of Merrill Lynch. He is well known by large issuers in Texas and is expected to help Bank of America build its presence in the state.

Litton's "broad expertise" as a financial adviser, investment banker, and underwriter "will be well utilized in applying our resources to the needs of the public sector," Taddey said.

Bank of America also expects additional hiring "over the near term" for the Dallas office, Taddey said.

Earlier this year, after leaving Morgan Stanley & Co. and joining Bank of America, Taddey said the bank would pursue hiring opportunities in an effort to build its municipal securities group. He also said the bank would try to capitalize on the bank's presence in various western states.

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