Bank of Boston Corp. took another step toward the high-yield bond market this week with three new appointments in its fledgling securities unit.

The bank appointed Valerie Jones Simson and Jeffrey M. Schachter as vice presidents of high-yield sales and Michael J. Smith as vice president of high-yield trading. That brings the number of staffers to 18. More hirings this month will bring the total to around 30 for the unit, said Steven Shenfeld, head of the bank's high-yield group.

Ms. Simson comes from Bank of Boston's fixed income securities group. Mr. Schachter was with Jefferies & Co. in Short Hills, N.J., for the past two years, and Mr. Smith had been at PaineWebber Inc. the last three years. The titles of all three are the same ones they held with their previous employers.

Commercial banks mounted a challenge last year to the dominance of investment banks and Wall Street firms in the high-yield market, with units of Chase Manhattan and Bankers Trust New York Co. breaking into the ranks of the top 10 junk-bond managers.

Bank of Boston's section 20 securities underwriting and trading subsidiary is expected to gain Federal Reserve approval later this month after nearly two years of development.

"1997 will be our building year," said Mr. Shenfeld. "Almost concurrent with the opening of the section 20, we'll be pretty much fully operational. We hope to be competitive right out of the box," he said.

Bank of Boston's new entry will leverage off its existing bank client base to compete with established high-yield leaders such as Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co.

"The bank has a very large stable of emerging-market borrowers that fit this model, as well as U.S. corporations that are noninvestment grade or are middle-market size," said Mr. Shenfeld.

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