ATLANTA -- New York City based Paragon Capital Corp. plans to expand its bond-trading operation in Boca Raton, Fla., and has hired municipal high-yield trader James Burns to run the unit.

Burns, named senior vice president of fixed-income trading, previously worked in the Boca Raton office of Gilmore Securities.

He replaces Patrick Grimail, who last month left Paragon for Janney Montgomery Scott Inc. in Philadelphia, where he is vice president and co-manager of the firm's national municipal trading desk. Grimail had been with Paragon for over three years.

Paragon plans to hire several additional bond traders for its Boca Raton unit, which will be national in scope and will handle corporate and treasury securities as well as municipals, Burns said yesterday.

Through the expanded trading desk, Paragon will buy more bonds in the secondary market as a way of increasing its fixed-income inventory for the firm's retail sales force, Burns said.

"On the municipal side, we'll specialize in the middle-quality range, including story bonds," he said.

A spokesman at Paragon's headquarters office said the finn will continue to serve on the selling groups of municipal bond underwritings, but does not plan to seek a management role in these transactions.

Paragon, primarily a market maker in over-the-counter equities, was founded in 1986. The firm also has Florida offices in Miami and Tampa, and branches in Columbia, Md., and Aurora, Colo.

Before joining Paragon two weeks ago, Burns was a vice president in municipal trading at Gilmore, which is based in Fair Lawn, N.J. He had been with the firm since it opened its Boca Raton office in September 1993.

Previously Bums was a trader with Municipal Securities Inc. in Memphis.

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