J.P. Morgan Securities has hired Joe Acurso and Mark Hansen, both of whom are v.p.s, from Merrill Lynch to head up a new project loan trading effort. Both Hansen and Acurso will ultimately report to mortgage department chief Kevin Finnerty. On a daily basis, they will report to Tom Wiles, managing director. Specializing in Ginnie Mae-backed loans, the pair helped originate and trade three transactions for approximately $1 billion while at Merrill. Finnerty was traveling and unavailable for comment.
At Merrill, Hansen was a director and Acurso was a v.p. They both reported to mortgage-backed securities group chief Harley Bassman. An executive at Merrill says Jake Kaercher has taken over trading the project loan book. Prior to joining Merrill in late December 2000, the pair had worked together at Prudential Securities.