With the addition of Chris Flanagan, Ralph Diserio and Ryan Asato - all former Merrill Lynch mortgage pros - underwriter Chase Securities is ramping its real estate-related businesses, said market watchers.

"I think they've had some trouble penetrating the mortgage underwriting side," one source said. "They've hired some good people for the research end, and that will help them develop a presence and make investors more comfortable. I think it's something that they may have to further staff up in, however."

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