CHICAGO - First of Michigan Corp. will shut its New York City municipal bond operations in July, an executive of the firm said yesterday.

Steve Gasper Jr., president and chief executive officer, said that consolidation of the municipal bond business in the firm's Detroit headquarters is the reason behind the action.

"It makes more sense for our capital markets group to be together to coordinate positions," Gasper said.

No decision has been made as to the futures of the three people working in the New York office: George R. Charlton, executive vice president and manager; Eugene A. Balinski, vice president; and Diana DeCaro, assistant vice president, Gasper said.

The New York office, which was opened about 30 years ago, trades tax-exempt municipal bonds and some taxable bonds, Gasper said. The office is scheduled to close July 15, he said.

The office also acted as a syndicate contact for bond issues. Gasper said First of Michigan will continue to be involved in syndicates.

Gasper, who took over as head of First of Michigan last month, said the firm is examining all of its businesses to make sure everything is being done efficiently.

"We believe all the businesses we are now in have significant growth opportunities," he said. "We want to position our organization in the best way to take advantage of that."

Gasper came to First of Michigan from Fidelity Investments in Boston, where he was an executive vice president. He replaced John Martin, who retired.

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