B of A Securities Office Opens in Silicon Valley

SAN FRANCISCO - Banc of America Securities said Monday that it has opened its first office in Palo Alto, Calif., joining a slew of other investment banks that have put staff in Silicon Valley to target the region's booming tech industries.The investment and securities arm of Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp. said the office will house its technology-related corporate and investment banking practice headed by Barry Newman, who also works in Palo Alto.

Since December about 50 employees - almost all of whom are investment bankers - have moved to the Page Mill Road location from the company's San Francisco office.

The bankers are specialists in the region's technology industries and so-called New Economy businesses, including communications, computers and peripherals, distribution, networking, semiconductors, software, and Internet industries.

The company could add about 10 more professionals to the office, a spokeswoman said.

Several other investment banks and venture capital firms that have set up offices in the area. Credit Suisse First Boston has an office in Palo Alto. Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, a unit of Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and Robertson Stephens, a unit of Bostonbased FleetBoston Financial Corp., have operations in neighboring Menlo Park.

Summit of N.J. Hires Corporate Bank Exec

PRINCETON, N.J. - Summit Bancorp said Monday that it has hired a top executive from FleetBoston Financial Corp. to build up its corporate banking services for middle-market customers in New Jersey and Connecticut.Douglas L. Kennedy joined Summit on Monday as executive vice president and deputy manager of corporate banking, reporting to Sabry J. Mackoul, Summit's head of corporate banking. Mr. Kennedy was president and chief executive officer of Fleet Bank in New Jersey, a unit of Fleet Financial Group, which recently merged with BankBoston Corp. He will manage commercial banking clients and help develop new business.

Summit is New Jersey's largest home-grown bank, with $36 billion of assets. In recent years it has been forced to compete more aggressively in the middle-market sector against big out-of-state banks, including Boston-based Fleet and Charlotte, N.C.-based First Union Corp.

In a statement, Summit said Mr. Kennedy's extensive contacts with middle-market companies in the region would make it a stronger competitor.

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