Austin, Texas-based financial services provider Amherst Securities Group is actively expanding its commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) platform. The firm added John Caputo as its primary CMBS trader. Effective Monday, Caputo joined the firm's New York office. He brings nearly 20 years of commercial real estate experience -- including as a loan underwriter, desk trader and bond portfolio manager -- to the position. "There is a tremendous opportunity for Amherst to expand its mortgage trading efforts into the CMBS market," said Amherst chairman and CEO Sean Dobson, in a press statement. "We are convinced that John's extensive trading and loan credit background will be critical to our success as we build out this important new platform at Amherst." Caputo previously managed the residential MBS and CMBS trading efforts at hedge fund C12 Capital Management. Prior to that, Caputo worked as a CMBS trader at Barclays Capital and at Saloman Brothers/Smith Barney/Citi. "I am confident that the combination of John's credit and trading expertise, Amherst's proprietary analytics and our strategy efforts will enhance Amherst's ability to evaluate and offer commercial mortgage-backed securities trading opportunities to our clients," said Amherst head of CMBS strategy Darrell Wheeler. Write to Diana Golobay.