W. Heath Hawk

CEO & President

W. Heath Hawk brings to First Southern over 25 years of experience in high yield municipal bond sales and trading. Mr. Hawk began his career in 1994 as a trading assistant for a regional bond dealer and moved into various sales and trading positions in the industry. He was instrumental in creating the distressed municipal bond operation for Bergen Capital, a BB&T Corporation affiliate, while managing the Atlanta office until 2009. In 2010 he co-founded First Southern Securities which eventually was transitioned to First Southern.

Mr. Hawk is a 1994 graduate of Florida State University with a BBA in Finance and holds the FINRA Series 4, 7, 9, 10, 24, 50, 53, 63 and 65 and additionally serves on the firm’s Investment Committee.


John Holman

Chief Operating Officer | Chief Compliance Officer

Mr. Holman has over 20 years of experience in financial services focused on banking, trading and broker/dealer operations at firms that include PaineWebber, Mellon Bank, WIT Soundview and the New York Stock Exchange. He is active in analyzing and implementing new rules as they pertain to Dodd-Frank, FATCA, Market Access, Basel, EU, FINRA and SEC. While serving as an officer at the NYSE, Mr. Holman participated in meetings with the Secretary of the Treasury to discuss solutions regarding regulation of the derivatives markets. Furthermore, Mr. Holman worked with Commissioners and SEC staff to secure exemptions from securities acts on new product listings at the exchange. He has also participated on industry and regulatory panels on the effects of impending regulatory change. Mr. Holman has years of complex project management experience involving trading, operations, regulation and compliance.

Mr. Holman graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Agricultural Business and obtained his Masters in Management at National-Louis University in Chicago and holds the FINRA Series 7, 24, 63, and 79.


Vasileios A. Sfyris

Managing Partner | Municipal Bond Trading

Vasileios Sfyris began his career in the securities industry in fixed income sales of a regional bond brokerage in 1999. Mr. Sfyris honed his skills in analyzing and trading distressed and high yield municipal bonds working at the Atlanta desk of Bergen Capital, a BB&T Corporation affiliate. In 2010, he co-founded First Southern Securities which was eventually transitioned to First Southern.

Mr. Sfyris serves on the firm’s Investment Committee and heads the firm’s high yield muni and distressed trading desk. Mr. Sfyris received a BBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business in 1999. He is FINRA Series 7, 24, 28, 63 and 65 licensed.


Benjamin T. Eiler

Managing Partner | Head of Institutional Sales

Benjamin Eiler brings to First Southern extensive experience in fixed income sales and trading. Prior to joining the firm, he was a Senior Vice President with Crews and Associates in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he covered numerous institutional fixed income accounts from 1998 until 2014. Mr. Eiler is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee.

Mr. Eiler earned a B.S. in Finance from Southern Arkansas University in 1998. He is FINRA Series 7, 63, 65 and 24 licensed.


Rafael Pagán

Managing Director ǀ Investment Banking

Before joining First Southern Securities in 2016, Mr. Pagán worked for 18 years in the investment banking group at UBS Puerto Rico as Executive Director. Mr. Pagán’s areas of expertise have been in corporate and public finance with an additional focus in M&A advisory engagements. Mr. Pagán has also served as buy and sell-side financial advisor on public-private partnerships assignments.

Mr. Pagán obtained his B.A. in Economics and minor in Mathematics from Haverford College in 1993. Mr. Pagán also received a M.A. in International Development Economics from Yale University in 1995 and a M.A. in International Affairs with a Finance concentration from Columbia University in 1997. Mr. Pagán currently holds the FINRA Series 7 license.


John Maxey

Managing Director ǀ Municipal Bond Trading

John Maxey joined First Southern Securities in 2015. Mr. Maxey brings to First Southern knowledge and experience in trading investment grade bonds, as well as high yield bonds in both the new-issue and secondary markets. Prior to joining First Southern Securities, Mr. Maxey worked at BB&T Capital Markets/Scott & Stringfellow on the retail trading desk from 2006 through 2015, and at Bergen Capital, a BB&T Corporation affiliate from 2003 through 2006. Mr. Maxey received his BBA in General Business from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business in 2001. Mr. Maxey currently holds the FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses.