DALLAS -- Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group, a Chicago-based investment banking and brokerage firm, has opened a Dallas office to expand its activities in cross-border finance between Mexico and the United States and to offer other money management and investment banking services.

The office is expected to work in conjunction with investment banking and securities operations in Mexico owned by Rodman's principal shareholder, Abaco Casa de Bolsa. The Mexican firm acquired a majority interest in the Chicago company in December.

"In addition to being one of the fastest growing business centers in the country, Dallas also has become the hub for cross-border finance. We believe that our affiliation with Abaco uniquely positions Rodman to take advantage of that growth. We look forward to continued expansion in this market," said Charles W. Daggs 3d, Rodman's president and chief executive officer.

Dean S. Oakey, a Dallas investment executive who has more than 14 years of experience in the industry, is heading the Dallas office, which opened last month, and has been named senior vice president of Rodman & Renshaw. Previously, Oakey was associate director of private client services for Bear Stearns & Co. in Dallas, working with the firm's individual, corporate, and institutional clients.

He is joined by two other executives from the Bear Stearns Dallas office: William Solomon, who has been named senior vice president at Rodman, and. Richard Farr, vice president.

Within a few months, Oakey said he hopes to hire about 12 staff members for institutional sales for fixed-income and equity assets as well as staff members who would target high net worth individuals.

Within the next six months to a year, he said, Rodman plans to add two investment bankers and a public finance person to the Dallas office.

The firm will target several types of business, including merger and acquisition-services and growth and restructuring capital to middle-market companies, Oakey said.

"There are a number of investment firms located here, but their services tend to be directed toward smaller or larger companies," Oakey said.

In addition, he said, Rodman hopes to sell research on Mexican investments produced by Abaco to U.S. institutional clients. U.S. investment in Mexico has soared in recent years and is expected to grow even more since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, prompting many financial firms to try to capitalize on that interest.

"We are the only [U.S. securities and investment banking] firm that is majority-owned by a Mexican financial company," Oakey said. "That gives us a hell of a lot of advantages."

Abaco Casa de Bolsa is a Mexican brokerage subsidiary of Abaco Grupo Financiero, a multifaceted financial Services holding company.

Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group is a full-service securities and investment firm that has offices in New York City, Kansas City, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, San Diego, and Northbrook, Ill.

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