Wachovia Securities Inc. said Wednesday that it has hired Joe L. Tessmer from U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray to head its fixed-income capital markets group.

Mr. Tessmer began work as the group's senior managing director on April 2. He oversees sales, trading, origination, and distribution of corporate, treasury, agency, and money market securities out of the Winston-Salem, N.C., company's Atlanta office.

Wachovia has been building up its capital markets business. Mr. Tessmer, who said his job had been open for about six months, reports to Mark B. Mahoney. Mr. Mahoney was named head of Wachovia Capital Markets in March and had been president of First Union Corp.'s institutional debt management division.

Mr. Tessmer said the 125-employee fixed-income group would "absolutely" make further hires. Having added more traders to the payroll, it plans to build up its sales and distribution departments and then its strategy and research departments, he said.

He said his own hiring "is indicative of the bank making some strategic investments in its capital markets business." It will "explore some new products" and enhance some that it already has, he said.

Mr. Tessmer joins Wachovia from U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray and U.S. Bancorp Investments, broker-dealer subsidiaries of U.S. Bancorp. Most recently he was their managing director of fixed-income capital markets. He had been with U.S. Bancorp and its predecessors since 1989.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, the investment banking arm of Minneapolis' U.S. Bancorp, eliminated workers in its equity capital markets, asset management, individual investor services, and fixed-income groups in the first quarter. Firstar Corp. completed its purchase of U.S. Bancorp in February and took the seller's name.

"I left as a result of the acquisition and some restructuring associated with the acquisition, but I was not part of the cutbacks publicized about three weeks ago," which were in the equity capital markets group, Mr. Tessmer said.

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