Municipal Finance Leadership Summit 2018: A Look Back

October 15, 2018

As many of you know, last week we hosted the Municipal Finance Leadership Summit 2018, an event that was truly unlike any the industry has seen. In my years covering munis for Bloomberg News, I got to attend a few industry conferences and not a one compared to the depth and uniqueness of the information presented last week in Boston.

The entire leadership summit was geared towards investor relations, a topic that is significantly undervalued in our market. And like everything we do here at BondLink, the objective was to empower issuers with information and tools to help them more efficiently access the capital markets. Issuers participated in numerous roundtables with investors and other leaders from around the market.

For example, Tom Paolicelli, who as an issuer for New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority hosted as well as attended numerous investor events, moderated a panel with Brandeis finance professor Dr. Dan Bergstresser and the World Bank’s Urvi Mehta to discuss the expanding investor base for Green Bonds, with a focus on post-financing impact reporting.

Director of the SEC’s Office of Municipal Securities (or OMS), Rebecca Olsen, delivered a keynote address outlining OMS’ focus on transparency and market integrity, including announcing its first Disclosure conference to be hosted in December at its headquarters in Washington, DC. Capping the Summit’s coverage on oversight and legal issues, bond attorney Dan Deaton, a partner with Nixon Peabody, detailed a clear legal framework for issuers in terms of their communication with investors.

BondLink CEO Colin MacNaught led a lengthy Q&A session with two VP’s of investor relations for Fortune 500 companies. BondLink’s Director of Marketing Dave Lewis took issuers on a tour of the marketing world and presented ideas on how to employ marketing strategies to bond sales. John Murphy worked with Fidelity’s Jae Chung to help issuers in the audience better understand what investors wants from issuers, both at the time of a bond sale and in between offerings. I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on how issuers can best work with the financial press and was joined by John Hallacy of The Bond Buyer and Cate Long of Puerto Rico Clearinghouse.

“So many of the topics that were presented simply never come up at other industry events,” Tom and Murph explained to me. “And they really go to the heart of how to improve bond sales – and ultimately optimize borrowing costs.”

More than the presentations themselves, attendees enjoyed an interactive discussion with the speakers, engendering an energetic, engaged and educated audience.

Here’s an example of the feedback we received on the event. Be sure to check out the latest episode of our podcast, MuniLand, to hear more.

  • Vanguard’s Akiko Mitsui: “A variety of different perspectives on disclosure in the marketplace. From the Compliance Disclosure about green bonds, to the way that public companies view disclosure and investor relations, to some of the legal issues affecting the municipal marketplace disclosure, all of these differing perspectives together have really made me think it really was a fantastic event.”

And that’s just a sampling. If you couldn’t be there, we’re already prepping for Municipal Finance Leadership Summit 2019. You won’t want to miss it again.

Muni Reporter

BondLink Perspective - Former Muni Reporter