UBS Securities has hired an analyst who follows mortgage banking equities to strengthen its investment banking service to residential lenders.

Gareth Plank joined the Union Bank of Switzerland subsidiary this week from Rodman & Renshaw, San Francisco. He will cover independent mortgage companies and the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Brenda White, managing director at UBS, New York, said that Mr. Plank's hiring helps the bank prepare for what she foresees as a wave of mortgage companies going public in the near future. He will be based in the San Francisco office of UBS.

"To serve mortgage bankers, we should be a full-service investment bank and have a dedicated equity analyst," Ms. White said.

Mr. Plank, who has been a financial industry analyst for 15 years, said he looks forward to working for a firm with a strong commitment to financial services industries.

The hiring continues UBS's yearlong foray into the financial institutions practice. Last week, Thomas Hanley joined UBS from CS First Boston. Mr. Hanley covers money-center and superregional banks.

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