Bernard B. Beal, a prominent municipal bond underwriter who founded and ran boutique investment bank M.R. Beal starting in 1988, has moved to rival firm Blaylock Robert Van, according to people familiar with the situation.
Beal is now Blaylock's chairman—a new position—and oversees municipal banking, underwriting, sales and trading activities, according to the sources. He is based in New York. Blaylock also underwrites municipal bonds.
The future of M.R. Beal is unclear. It has requested the termination of its registration with the regulatory bodies and institutions that govern its core lines of business, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, NASDAQ, NYSE and 13 states where it does work, according to a public filing.
Beal did not respond to requests for comment. Eric Starkman, an external spokesman for Blaylock, declined to comment.
Blaylock is a minority-owned investment banking and financial services company created by merger in 2007. The firm is the combination of Blaylock & Company, an investment banking boutique founded in 1993 by Ron Blaylock, and Robert Van Securities, a broker-dealer founded in 1991 by Eric Van Standifer.
(Read more: Is the muni bond market about to blow up?)
Van Standifer runs BRV as president. Blaylock is founder and managing partner of middle market private equity firm GenNx360, launched in 2006, but remains a board member and shareholder of BRV.
M. R. Beal's website describes the firm as the nation's oldest and continuously operated minority-owned investment bank. M. R. Beal also offers equity trading, broker dealer and advisory services to clients. The firm is based in New York City with offices in Chicago, Dallas and Sacramento.
Black Enterprise magazine named M.R. Beal "Financial Services Company of the Year" in 2011, and Beal was named to TheGrio's 100, a list of "100 people making history today" in 2011.
—By CNBC's Lawrence Delevingne. Follow him on Twitter