ATLANTA - Municipal market veteran Richard Montalbano, previously Kidder, Peabody & Co.'s lead public finance banker in Florida, has joined Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. as vice president of public finance.
Montalbano said he would remain in Miami, where he will open a public finance office for Smith Barney.
Montalbano said he will cover Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties in South Florida.
"I have enjoyed my three years at Kidder, but Smith Barney is a real force to be reckoned with in Florida and I felt there was an opportunity here I couldn't overlook," Montalbano said.
Montalbano's career as an investment banker spans 14 years.
He joined Kidder as a senior vice president in April 1990, opening the Miami office. Before that, he served as a managing director at Shearson Lehman Hutton in Miami.
Previously, Montalbano was a first vice president at Drexel Burnham Lambert for a year, heading up the public finance operation in Florida. Earlier he worked for Metropolitan Dade County as director of finance.
Some of Montalbano's clients have included Miami Beach, Miami International Airport, Jacksonville, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, and Homestead, Fla.
In recent years, Smith Barney has developed a strong position as an underwriter of municipal debt in Florida.
According to Securities Data Co., the firm ranks first when full credit is given to the senior manager of Florida bond issues sold since 1989. During that period, Smith Barney underwrote 161 issues in the state totaling $5.64 billion, edging out Merrill Lynch & Co., which underwrote 84 deals totaling $5.62 billion.
Since 1989, Kidder Peabody has ranked 13th in Florida with 20 deals totaling $608.9 million.
In 1992, Smith Barney ranked fourth as a sentor manager of Florida issues, behind Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, and Goldman, Sachs & Co., with 42 offerings totaling $1.3 billion. So far in 1993, it ranks fourth, behind Bear, Stearns & Co., Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers, with 15 issues totaling $559.9 million.
Kidder ranks 13th in 1993, with three issues totaling $104 million. in 1992, the firm ranked 11th, with 11 issues totaling $368 million.