Three Kidder, Peabody & Co. municipal bond officials have accepted offers to join Paine Webber Inc. and could begin work in mid-December, according to high-level sources in the firm.

Marvin Markus and Paul L. Ladd, former managing directors in Kidder's municipal banking department, and David Weprin, a senior vice president, recently accepted offers to join PaineWebber's municipal securities group, the sources said.

The offer, however, becomes official only after PaineWebber's acquisition of Kidder is complete. The deal is tentatively set to close Dec. 16.

Although the bankers are likely to operate in similar capacities at PaineWebber, sources at the firm say PaineWebber may create a special department headed by Markus. It could not be determined what municipal market sector Markus would manage.

All three employees have experience in several areas of municipal finance. Ladd is considered an expert in state revolving funds, an area PaineWebber has not actively pursued.

Weprin, the son of former New York State Assembly Speaker Saul Weprin, will continue to cover New York municipalities, state agencies, and New York City.

Markus, Ladd, and Weprin would not comment. Terry L. Atkinson, PaineWebber's managing director of municipal securities, could not be reached for comment.

In mid-November, PaineWebber named George J. Longo and Ralph Saggiomo as co-managers of its Philadelphia office. Kidder's Philadelphia office is one of the firm's most productive.

In a move to help the firm increase its market share, PaineWebber plans to absorb about 50% of Kidder's municipal workforce.

PaineWebber currently ranks sixth out of the nation's top 100 municipal bond underwriters and holds roughly 5.8% of market share. PaineWebber officials hope to rank among the market's top four firms after the takeover is complete.

But many past and present Kidder employees say they believe PaineWebber will start making staff reductions in about a year, after management determines which market sectors will remain profitable amid the sharp reduction in municipal bond issuance.

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