Nancy A. Bush, associate research director at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., has resigned to join Ryan Beck & Co. as a senior vice president.
She will arrive at Ryan Beck in Livingston, N.J., on April 6 and report to the director of research, Lawrence W. Cohn, who is formerly of PaineWebber Inc.
Ms. Bush's move will unite two of the most widely quoted and blunt bank analysts, and increase Ryan Beck's coverage list to slight more than 100 banks.
Ms. Bush has stood out from the crowd on Wall Street as a frequent critic of some banks' merger strategies. Mr. Cohn has questioned big banks' focus on cost cutting, saying that some have neglected investment for the future.
Ms. Bush, 44, who spent eight years at Brown Brothers Harriman, was promoted to associate director of research last year. She plans to continue rating midwestern and southwestern banks, and to expand her coverage to include mid-cap banks. She and Mr. Cohn will cover 40 to 50 of the nation's largest-cap banks.
"We are excited to have her on," said Mr. Cohn. "She is a well known and respected analyst. Ms. Bush will be part of a program to build our research department."
The coverage of 100-plus banks will be one of the largest on the Street, he added
Ms. Bush said boving to Ryan Beck will enable her "to build an institutional effort from the ground up, and generate revenues in other ways, such as investment banking."
She also noted that Brown Brothers Harriman does not trade in over-the- counter stocks, "so there is less of an imperative to follow those kinds of stocks."
Many small brokerage firms make a market in the stocks that their research covers. When an analysts recommends a stock to a client, the client pays fees to the firm to trade in those stocks.
Before coming to Brown Brothers Harriman, Ms. Bush worked three years as a bank analyst at Dean Witter. Before that she was at Butcher & Singer in Richmond, Va.
She also worked as a buy-side analyst-representing a purchaser rather than a broker-at Sentinel Advisors, the mutual fund advisory arm of National Life Insurance Co. in Montpelier, Vt., from 1982 to 1985.
Ms. Bush said that her decision to leave Brown Brothers came within the last few weeks. "I have known Larry (Cohn) on both the buy and sell side for almost all of my career, which is about 16 years," she said.
Today is her last day at Brown Brothers Harriman.