Societe Generale Securities Corp., in an effort to expand its presence as a full-service loan provider, has bought Meenan McDevitt & Co., a loan- brokering boutique.

The deal, announced Tuesday, effectively shuts down Meenan McDevitt, based in Harrison, N.Y. Meenan McDevitt's 12 employees will be absorbed into Societe Generale's loan department. The deal price was not disclosed.

Though the Meenan McDevitt name will be officially dropped, Societe Generale loan executives hope to use the moniker to keep the firm's existing relationships. Meenan McDevitt has sold about $2 billion of loan assets since its founding in 1991. The firm priced and sold about $6 billion of real estate debt during the same period.

"These guys have bought and sold anything a financial institution would or could own," said Bob Woods, Societe Generale's head of syndications. "They have very broad and deep investor coverage."

Mr. Woods would know. He was head of syndications at Citicorp from 1985 through 1989, where he worked with Kevin Meenan, who joined the company in 1987. Mr. Meenan left Citi in 1991 to form Meenan McDevitt with another former Citicorp trader, Tom McDevitt.

The partners will join Societe Generale Securities as managing directors. Mr. Meenan will head loan sales in New York, and Mr. McDevitt will head portfolio sales and be based in Harrison.

The deal is designed to bolster Societe Generale's project, leveraged, and structured finance distribution and is the latest step in the French banking company's effort to become a leading U.S. corporate lender. It was ranked 19th in U.S. lending in 1997, with 37 loan packages worth $26.2 billion, according to Securities Data Co.

That volume is short of the goal set by Mr. Woods when he joined Societe Generale in August 1997, saying it needed to be perceived as a "top 10 player." He said he planned to achieve that rank by building a distribution network similar to those found at big bond houses.

Societe Generale Securities embarked on an effort to improve its loan distribution about a year ago, Mr. Woods said. With the Meenan McDevitt acquisition, it now has 29 employees in sales and trading.

Societe Generale Securities is a subsidiary of Societe Generale USA.

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