In a move designed to "reflect the expanding capabilities of its entire organization," Cohen Brothers & Co. last week announced it had changed its named to Cohen & Co.

Chris Ricciardi earlier this year left as head of CDO origination and structuring at Merrill Lynch to become the chief executive of Cohen, a Philadelphia-based asset manager founded by Daniel Cohen in 2000. Since hiring Ricciardi, the privately owned Cohen has doubled its assets under management to $20 billion from $10 billion in late February. The firm currently manages 22 CDOs and two REITs.

Ricciardi has said he expects Cohen to complete a dozen CDOs this year. This month Cohen closed the second deal in its Dekania Europe series, the 300 million ($382 million) Dekania Europe CDO II, which focuses on hybrid capital securities issued by insurance companies and banks. The firm also closed the third transaction from its Kleros CDO series, the $2 billion Kleros CDO III, which focuses on ABS and MBS. Last June, Cohen also launched its second CLO backed by middle-market loans, the $366 million Emporia Preferred Funding II.

Among a number of key hires in April were fellow team members at Merrill Lynch (and formerly part of the Credit Suisse team) Ralph Nacey and Eric Phillips who joined Cohen's capital markets group. Nacey was a director and head of structured ABS derivative trading at Merrill and Phillips was a vice president.

In July, Cohen hired Mark Tolani, formerly an executive vice president at KBC Financial Products, as global head of IT development. Ricciardi said last week the organization has "grown significantly, with highly talented people across all of our business lines - our name change to Cohen & Co. is a clear reflection of this."

The firm, now with more than 100 employees, has expanded its capital markets division and maintains ongoing plans for growth, according to Ricciardi.

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