First Albany Corp., an Albany-based securities firm, recently hired three municipal bond professionals to strengthen its finance and sales staffs.

The most recent hires are Thomas J. Massaro, named a vice president and manager of a newly created high-net-worth sales group in the firm's New York City office, and John Rumely, tapped as a vice president of health-care financing in the firm's Princenton office.

In July, Herbert J. Horowitz, formerly a first vice president in Van Kampen Merritt Inc.'s Philadelphia office, was named a senior vice president and director of the firm's health-care finance group, also in Princeton. Before joining Van Kampen, Mr. Horowitz was the executive director of the New Jersey Health Facilities Finance Authority.

Mr. Massaro comes to First Albany from Manufacturers Hanover Securities Corp., where he was a vice president and manger of the firm's municipal sales department. And Mr. Rumely is stepping down from a post as a senior financial adviser to the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority.

"We are expanding our public finance and sales presence to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in the Northeast, which is our region," said Arthur T. Murphy, senior vice president and manager of the firm's municipal securities department.

While the firm has retail salesmen who cater to wealthy investors, Mr. Massaro's appointment marks the first time the firm has formally designated such a group, Mr. Murphy said. New York City "is a good market for municipal high net-worth investors," Mr. Murphy observed.

"We currently have a health-care effort, we are simply expanding it," Mr. Murphy said, adding that the firm plans to hire more people for the group.

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