Austin, Texas-based financial services provider Amherst Securities Group will expand its offerings with a move into the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market. To that end, 20-year veteran Darrell Wheeler joins the firm as senior managing director and head of CMBS strategy. Wheeler will work out of the firm’s New York City office, effective in early 2010. Amherst, which currently specializes in broker-dealer residential MBS transactions, said its goal is to build a comparable operation in the CMBS sector. “We are very pleased to welcome an executive of Darrell’s caliber to Amherst,” said Sean Dobson, Amherst chairman and CEO. “He brings unparalleled knowledge of the commercial mortgage-backed securities industry and a stellar track record for providing the most sought-after advice on Wall Street.” Wheeler most recently served as managing director at Citigroup’s (C) global corporate and investment bank and global head of securitized strategy and analysis, overseeing the asset-backed securitization (ABS) research group and served as the company’s lead CMBS strategist. Wheeler’s research team was ranked first in the Institutional Investor's Fixed Income Research survey six consecutive years. “Just as our clients have relied on Amherst for insight into the turbulent RMBS market, we believe that there is a similar need for access to loan level data, credit analysis and cash flow analytics on commercial securities,” said Amherst president Joseph Walsh. “Darrell is the ideal person to provide that guidance and we expect him to play a critical role in the build-out of our CMBS team.” Write to Austin Kilgore.