NationsBanc Montgomery Securities, the section 20 subsidiary of BankAmerica Corp., opened a larger trading floor in San Francisco this week.
The new floor, which Montgomery claims is the biggest in the United States outside New York, occupies 22,000 square feet, 30% more than the company's old San Francisco floor.
Located in the Transamerica Pyramid, where the company is headquartered, the new floor can accommodate 193 trading personnel, 85% more than the old floor. Montgomery now has 64 traders in San Francisco. Executives plan to add about 16 more traders this year and roughly double the current trading staff over the next three to four years.
"The expansion was critical to our plans. There was a real space issue before," said Kent Logan, Montgomery senior managing director and head of equities.
The decision to build the floor was made after NationsBank Corp. bought the company in 1997, Mr. Logan said, and was well under way when that bank announced plans to merge with BankAmerica Corp. last year.
The trading computer network now runs 10 times faster than before, Mr. Logan said. In 1998 the firm's average daily trading volume was 36 million listed and over-the-counter shares.
In New York, Montgomery has a small international equities trading staff that sells to U.S. investors. The firm has three seats on the New York Stock Exchange.