First Tennessee Capital Markets has opened its fifth regional office, in Chicago.

The unit of First Tennessee National Corp., Memphis, underwrites government agency bonds, municipal bonds, and mortgage-backed securities.

The Chicago office, which will be staffed by new hires as well as people already in the in First Tennessee system, is part of an effort to bring those products to financial institutions and investors in the Midwest, said James Vogel, a senior vice president at First Tennessee Capital Markets.

"Growing to Chicago would emphasize that they are trying to grow that business and trying to grow fee income in general," said Joseph Roberto, a bank analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.

Robert Costello will lead the new group as vice president and Chicago manager. Mr. Costello joins First Tennessee from ABN Amro Holding in Chicago. Also joining as vice presidents from ABN Amro are Michael McCarthy and Raymond Mueller.

Other hires include Vincent Pierotti from Dain Bosworth, Steve Young from the Georgia Bankers Bank, and John Robinson from Hale Barnes.

Kenneth Molnar, a vice president in sales, and Kathy LeFreniere, vice president for mortgage trading, are moving to the Chicago unit from First Tennessee National's Memphis office.

"The capital markets group has been part of First Tennessee since the 1920s," said Mr. Vogel. "The group offers a full range of products."

Mr. Roberto said First Tennessee's capital markets group is "one of the largest and most well-established in that business."

They have been in business a long time and have a very large customer base, he noted. "They provide a lot of additional bells and whistles, and that allows them to grow their customer base."

First Tennessee Capital Markets' other regional offices are in Mobile, Ala.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Kansas City, Kan.; and Dallas.

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