LOS ANGELES - Bank of America, pursuing a game plan to enlarge its municipal securities group, has hired a prominent Los Angeles-based bond lawyer and a Dallas-based investment banker with extensive public finance experience.
Eugene J. Carron, a partner of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, will join the BankAmerica Corp. unit Nov. 1 as a director overseeing its Los Angeles municipal securities operation, according to Anthony J. Taddey, director of the bank's overall municipal group.
Michael H. Ashford, formerly a director at First Southwest Co., will be a director in Bank of America's Dallas office.
Mr. Carron, with 18 years of bond counsel and underwriter's counsel experience, has represented investment banks and a broad array of general municipal and public utility issuers.
He joined Orrick Herrington in 1986 after 11 years at Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Verdun.
Mr. Ashford has 23 years' experience in all phases of public finance. He worked from 1981 to 1993 as managing director and manager of the Dallas public finance office for Dillon, Read & Co. and was a vice president from 1970 to 1981 at First Southwest, which he rejoined this year.
Mr. Ashford has worked with clients in numerous states, including Texas, Oklahoma, and Arizona.
In July, Bank of America hired another former First Southwest executive, Richard H. Litton, to oversee its Dallas municipal securities operation.
A Plan for Growth
Mr. Taddey said the latest hirings fit with a strategy of employing seasoned professionals who possess technical expertise and client relationships.
Bank of America continues "to build slowly but surely," said Mr. Taddey, who committed himself to building the bank's municipal practice when he joined it in January from Morgan Stanley & Co.
Mr. Taddey said the hiring of experienced bankers will let him devote more time to the unit's sales, trading, and underwriting operations, as well as to clients.
Bringing aboard Mr. Carron and Mr. Ashford coincides with expectations that the bank will soon have its broker-dealer subsidiary, BA Securities Inc., up and running.
Mr. Taddey said the securities subsidiary, which will be wholly owned by parent BankAmerica, could be operating on or about Nov. 1.
The bank plans to consolidate its securities operations in the subsidiary, including all municipal and corporate finance activities.
Other money-center banking concerns have formed such subsidiaries under Section 20 of the Glass-Steagall Act, which permits banks to conduct certain securities activities through a nonbank subsidiary. The Section 20 provision also broadened banks' municipal underwriting powers.
Mr. Carron's experience with municipal utilities, for example, will mesh with the bank's expanded opportunities to underwrite revenue bonds under Section 20, Mr. Taddey said.
It "is not coincidental" to have new employees joining when the subsidiary is almost operational, Mr. Taddey said. "It's all kind of falling together now."
The bank's project finance, money market, private placement, and government dealer operations also will migrate to the subsidiary, although the transition "is all going to take some time," Mr. Taddey said.