NationsBanc Montgomery Securities plans to hire 70 traders, salesmen, programmers, and others to build an equity derivatives and convertible bond unit, according to John Sandelman, who heads the group.

The securities unit of NationsBank Corp. has already lured 30 people, including Todd Steinberg from Bear, Stearns & Co., Van Nguyen from American International Group Inc., and David Harris from NatWest Securities.

The investment bank, formed by NationsBank's purchase of Montgomery last year, is building the business amid a boom in equity derivatives, fueled by volatile stock markets.

Derivatives are contracts whose value is derived from an underlying asset, such as a stock, bond, or commodity, or from an index.

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