DALLAS -- Kemper Securities Group has trimmed five bankers from its Boettcher & Co. division and replaced them with two senior bankers from Prudential Securities Inc.
A top official at the Chicago-based brokerage said the changes should help stop the erosion of clients the firm has suffered in the Rocky Mountains after previous downsizings.
"This part of our recommitment to the Rocky Mountain area," said Tom Reedy, executive vice president and head of public finance nationally at Kemper. "We felt there was a lot of confusion for clients. There was some concern about whether we were really serious about the region or whether we were going to pull the plug."
Last week, the firm named Steven Binder, a 21-year veteran of the Colorado bond market, to head Boettcher. Most recently, he was manager of the Denver office for Prudential sicne 1988. Before that, he headed investment banking in Denver for E.F. Hutton for nine years.
He will now oversee the Denver, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City offices under the Boettcher division.
Kemper also named Steven Bell a senior vice president of public finance in Denver. The pair were the core of Prudential's Rocky Mountain presence.
Senior officials at Prudential did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
Mr. Reedy yesterday confirmed that Ronald Kaiser, the former head of investment banking in Denver, was among those cut. "There was an opening for Ron in Chicago, but he chose not to physically relocate," he said.
Kemper also replaced four other investment bankers in its Denver office: William B. Dougherty and W. Scott Peterson, senior vice presidents; Marc Harvey, a vice president; and Allan Fair, an associate.
A sixth banker, Thomas Hocking, a senior vice president in the Phoenix office of Boettcher & Co., was also affected by the downsizing.
However, competitors speculate that the move is the latest cost-saving and strategic move in the Boettcher division. "They have been shipping most of their bankers to Chicago or getting rid of them altogether," said an official at a competing firm. "Part of it was cost-cutting, but part of it was most certainly a matter of personalities and productivity."
Mr. Reedy acknowledged yesterday that the cutbacks had worked to the advantage of Kemper's competitors and the detriment of the firm's reputation in the Rocky Mountains.
Already this year, Kemper has dropped from its position as number three senior manager on Colorado issues with 25 deals totaling $211.8 million last year to eighth in 1991 with 13 issues totaling $72.4 million, according to Securities Data Co./Bond Buyer. The firm continues to be ranked number 15 nationally as a senior manager, with 154 tax-exempt deals totaling $1.22 billion this year.
"With the changes going on at Kemper, our competitors use them against us," he said. "There had been a revolving door from management on down" at the firm.
He said the change in personnel was meant to signal to issuers that the firm intends to focus on traditional client relationships, like local school district bonds. "We're going to go to traditional business like school district financings," said Mr. Binder. "We have to restructure for the long haul toward the traditional clients."