Robert E. Davis, executive vice president and manager of the municipal bond department at Kemper Securities Inc. in Chicago, has resigned to pursue other interests, sources close to the executive said.

A Kemper spokeswoman confirmed that Davis left the company late last month, but declined to comment further. Davis, who began his career with the firm in 1984, could not be reached for comment, but a source said he has not accepted a position at another firm.

Davis is one of three executives to exit Kemper's public finance ranks in the past six months.

In June, James P. Fitzgerald, formerly senior executive vice president, resigned from the firm "because of philosophical differences" in management. Fitzgerald was one of the firm's top three executives and a member of the board of directors and Kemper's operating committee. He said he left to pursue other interests.

Courtney Shea, formerly a vice president of public finance, left the firm in September to work in the newly opened Chicago office of Artemis Capital Group, a woman-owned firm.

Last year, Thomas Meade stepped down as president of Kemper's securities brokerage unit.

Davis began his career at Kemper as senior vice president and national institutional municipal sales manager of Blunt Ellis & Loewi, a former Kemper division.

Mark Magee, a senior vice president, has been promoted to executive vice president and will replace Davis as head of the municipal department. In his new position, Magee will be responsible for municipal bond sales and trading. Previously, Magee served as a municipal bond trader in Chicago at Blunt Ellis. He began his career in 1980 at First Chicago Capital Markets as a municipal bond trader for that firm's retail and institutional clients.

Kemper Corp., of which Kemper Securities is a division, has been plagued with problems in its securities division surrounding a reorganization of its brokerage operations, completed last year. The restructuring, which involved the consolidation of five regional brokerage firms with some other Kemper operations, resulted in lay-offs of hundreds of employees.

In addition, the firm has had to increase litigation reserves to offset costly lawsuits related to the securities operations of some of the former regional firms.

Rumors have also been circulating among market participants for several months that Kemper Corp. may be interested in selling the securities division.

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