NEW YORK - Banc of America Securities has hired Michael Aswad, a 14-year veteran of J.P. Morgan & Co., as a managing director, and Michael Gebo, formerly of Prudential Securities, as a vice president in its financial institutions group. Mr. Aswad will focus on advising specialty finance companies at Banc of America Securities.

The two fill out a group depleted by high-level departures from the unit's San Francisco office this year. Senior banking analyst Diane Merdian left to join Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, and Kathleen Smythe, a managing director in investment banking, left for Putnam Lovell. Recently, Banc of America Securities also hired Sean Ryan, a banking analyst formerly with Bear Stearns & Co.

In May, Banc of America Securities announced it was revamping its financial institutions teams to boost its advisory and equity underwriting business in the sector.

At that time it made two New York insurance investment bankers, Tony Ursano and George Johns, co-heads of a single financial institutions group along with David Halstead, who heads debt and traditional banking products for financial institutions and works out of Chicago.

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