Chase Securities Inc. has snared media and telecommunications analyst Les B. Levi as a managing director in its high-yield research group.

Mr. Levi, 44, joins Chase from Merrill Lynch & Co., where he worked for the past seven years. Before that, he worked at Drexel Burnham Lambert for three years.

For the past two years, Mr. Levi has ranked as the No. 1 high-yield media and telecommunications analyst on the Institutional Investor's All America Research Team.

At Chase, he will report to Steven Ruggiero, managing director and head of high-yield research, and will head up a group of five analysts who follow the industry.

On the merger and acquisitions front, Chase hired William D. Cohan, 37, also from Merrill Lynch, where he was a director since 1995.

He joins the global M&A unit as a managing director, focusing on activities with financial buyers. He reports to Mark Davis, managing director and head of the global M&A group. Mr. Davis joined Chase from Salomon Brothers last year.

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Prudential Securities Inc. has hired three members of the Beverly Hills- based Westcott Group, an investment bank specializing in mezzanine finance.

Westcott founder Kevin Shultz, 43, and partner Dennis McCarthy, 43, joined Prudential's Los Angeles office as managing directors, while Mike Christiansen, 40, joined as a vice president.

In New York, Adam S. Birnbaum joined the investment bank's consumer business group as a managing director and industry officer from Dean Witter Reynolds.

Prudential also hired D. Scott Corman from New York Life Insurance Co. as vice president and product officer, responsible for originating and structuring asset-backed securities.

C. Christopher Hastings joined the firm's private equity financing group as vice president from Bank of New York.

In the real estate group, David M. Rodgers, formerly of Jones Lang Wootton Realty Advisors, came aboard as a vice president.

And Steven Pfeifer, 34, joined the firm as senior international and domestic oil analyst from PaineWebber.

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