As part of a wave of job-hopping among regional bank analysts, James M. Schutz and William Channell, formerly with ABN Amro Inc., joined the Little Rock investment banking firm of Stephens Inc. on Tuesday.

"Bill and I came to Stephens because it gave us the opportunity to build a practice from the ground up," said Mr. Schutz, who was an ABN Amro bank analyst for six years. "Being able to launch a new office and initiate coverage in my specialty was an opportunity I could not pass up." Mr. Schutz will be vice president, and Mr. Channell will be research analyst. They succeed Eric Rothmann, who left the firm last month.

Many other analysts are on the move. A number of regional firms are stepping up their coverage of bank stocks, because consolidation makes the industry more attractive to many investors. Also, some No. 2 analysts see an opportunity to run departments at rivals.

R. Jay Tereja is an example. The 41-year-old bank analyst left Minneapolis-based Dain Raucher Wessels Inc. in March to join Ragen Mackenzie Inc. of Seattle. As director of research he heads a team of 15 people that covers financial institutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Last month, Joel W. Silverstein joined Chase Asset Management as a buy- side analyst after covering bank stocks on the sell-side at Prudential Securities.

Jacqueline Reeves is expected to join Putnam, Lovell, de Guardiola & Thornton Inc. on June 14. She is expected to be a managing director and senior bank analyst. Last week she left Salomon Smith Barney, where she covered regional bank stocks.

Ben Crabtree, who last month joined George K. Baum & Co. in Minneapolis from Dain Raucher Wessels, said some analysts lose jobs when banks consolidate because there are fewer banks to track. "But smaller companies realize there's a vacuum and move in.

George K. Baum, headquartered in Kansas City, is known for its strong municipal bond finance business. But recently the company started to build its institutional equity business.

Mr. Schutz at Stephens sees his move as a rich opportunity. The 50-year- old analyst plans to expand Stephens' research on regional and super regional banks to as many as 30 banks and will focus additionally on smaller and mid-cap banking companies in the Southeast and Southwest.

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