A group of seven financial institutions experts has left San Francisco-based Dakin Securities to join Rodman & Renshaw Inc.

The group, which consists of three analysts and four investment bankers. will begin Chicago-based Rodman's push into financial services.

Last September, a Mexican financial concern purchased a majority interest in Rodman, known for its commodities and bond trading. At the time, the new shareholder expressed an interest in pushing Rodman toward financial instimtions investment.

Until the new group signed on two weeks ago, Rodman did not have an institutional research capacity.

The new group, which will be based outside of San Francisco, will focus initially on West Coast financial institutions.

At Dakin, some of the investment banking clients included California Federal Bank, Glendale Federal Bank and Golden West Financial Corp.

Analyst Campbell K. Chaney, who made the move with his six colleagues, complained that Dakin appeared more interested in other industries, like biotechnology, than financial institutions.

When Rodman made a better offer, he said, the group jumped at the chance.

Dakin's CEO, John H. Dakin, disagreed with Mr. Chaney's assessment, saying for a firm of its size, Dakin was adequately committed to financial institutions.

Mr. Dakin also said the firm never had a formal financial institutions group. Only three of the seven were full-time financial institutions specialists, he said, while the other four occasionally worked on financial institutions issues.

He conceded no one was left at the firm who had worked on financial institutions business.

He said Dakin Securities hoped to replace the investment bankers.

At Rodman the focus will be on financial institutions, though not exclusively, Mr. Chaney said.

Mr. Chaney expressed optimism about California's market for financial institutions. A wave of mergers and acquisitions is predicted by some, and companies like Rodman are positioning themselves to exploit the expected M&A boom.

For example, earlier this year, Natwest Markets, the investment banking ann of London-based National Westminster Bank PLC, hired five investment bankers, including Cary Thompson, away from Oppenheimer & Co.'s financial institutions unit to staff a West Coast office.

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