By hiring three senior bankers this week from BankAmerica Corp., Bear, Stearns & Co. signaled that it is serious about entering syndicated lending.

The Wall Street firm confirmed Tuesday that it had hired Keith Barnish, head of international and U.S. originations at BankAmerica, and Mark Lies, co-head of BankAmerica's corporate structuring, to jointly run a new leveraged syndicated lending group. Bear Stearns also nabbed Steve Capp, BankAmerica's head of Latin American syndication.

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