United California Bank in Los Angeles has named Catherine K. Lam, the chief appraiser of one of its predecessors, to hold the same job there.

She reports to Roland Ojeda, the executive vice president of the bank’s risk management division.

The bank is a unit of UFJ Holdings Inc. in Tokyo, which was formed by the April merger of three Japanese companies, including the parents of Sanwa Bank California and Tokai Bank of California, which were combined last month to create United California.

Ms. Lam was named the chief appraiser of Sanwa shortly before it was combined with Tokai. She had joined Sanwa in 1996 as a vice president and the district appraisal officer. She has 15 years of appraisal experience.

MIDDLE ATLANTICBear, Stearns & Co. Inc. has hired Steve Abrahams and Peter Rubinstein as managing directors of the mortgage research group in its financial analytics and structured transactions department

Mr. Abrams will lead research in agency structured products and Mr. Rubinstein in direct commercial mortgage. They report to Dale Westhoff, the department’s senior managing director and head of mortgage research.

Mr. Abrahams was the director of the single-family portfolio management division for a year at Freddie Mac. Before that he had been the director of the residential research group at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., where he worked for seven years.

Mr. Rubinstein spent a year as a senior vice president and the head of asset-backed securities research at Prudential Securities. Before that he had held a similar position for a year as a vice president at Chase Securities Inc. (now J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.). Still earlier he had worked for three years at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc., which Credit Suisse Group bought last year.

Banc of America Securities LLC in New York has hired Kurt Harrison as the head of its U.S. Treasury trading desk and Roman Lipp as the head of Chicago high-grade income sales in its newly created U.S. high-grade sales management team.Both were also named managing directors of the Bank of America Corp. subsidiary.

Mr. Harrison, who reports to Steve Gallagher, the head of global high-grade trading, was a senior vice president of long-term government bond trading at Lehman Brothers. He has 13 years of fixed-income trading experience.

Mr. Lipp, who reports to Jonathan David, the head of global high-grade sales, was a senior fixed-income specialist and an institutional client manager at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. He had held the same position at J.P. Morgan & Co. for eight years before Chase Manhattan Corp. bought it last year.

Neuberger Berman Inc., a New York investment advisory firm, has hired Stephen Brent Wells as the chief operating officer of its Neuberger Berman Trust Cos. and Ralph D. Sinsheimer as a senior vice president of sales and servicing in the unit’s wealth management group.

Both were managing directors at Offitbank, a subsidiary of Wachovia Corp.

Mr. Wells had held fiduciary investment advisory, trust administration, insurance, and legal and compliance jobs at Offitbank since 1994. Before that he had held senior management jobs at Morgan Stanley Asset Management, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and Gabelli & Co. He started his career as a trust and estate attorney at Caldwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

Mr. Sinsheimer was the director of marketing and philanthropy management at Offitbank, where he worked for four years. Before that he had been a general partner for two years of Eureka Capital Management LP. Still earlier he had been a vice president and the chief marketing officer at Loomis, Sayles & Co. LP, where he worked for 10 years.

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