Municipal Finance Leadership Summit 2018: A Preview

October 9, 2018

One of the core tenets of our work at BondLink is to empower issuers in the municipal bond market to do more in order to optimize their bond financing programs. “Doing more” includes things like being as transparent as possible with investors through the dissemination of timely data, making that data as accessible as possible through a dedicated investor website, providing greater access to bond sales to non-traditional investors like retail, and incorporating analytics to better understand trends on the buy-side.

Since going live in November 2016, we have built an incredible network of highly sophisticated issuer-clients who are eager to provide efficiency gains to investors as a way to stand out in a very crowded bond market. These issuers are located all across the market, from states to utilities, universities, school districts, counties, cities and towns. Some of our clients are large and frequent issuers, others are small and infrequent. Some have three AAA ratings, while others are underrated or even unrated.

Despite the difference in size, sector and credit quality of our clients, the common denominator of each of these issuers is the superior individual finance officers responsible for their respective bond programs. They are “leaning in” to the tools provided by BondLink because they want to lead the market and price their bonds are efficiently as possible, and they know there are sizable returns over time to an investment in greater investor outreach.

We do everything we can to help distinguish our issuer-clients to bond investors, and this week includes two big investments on our end to further that objective. On Wednesday, Oct. 10, we will be hosting our inaugural leadership summit focused on IR best practices. This event was created to provide a forum for issuers and investors to discuss issues that are rarely covered at traditional bond market conferences yet offer tremendous value. We will also be unveiling a number of new features to the BondLink platform on Wednesday, which I will detail in a subsequent post.

Here’s a preview of some of the roundtables at the Leadership Summit:

  • David Lewis, BondLink’s Director of Marketing, will lead a session on how to develop a marketing plan with the goal of raising awareness for a bond sale. This will cover reaching out to both institutional and non-traditional investors;
  • We’ll have a round table with two corporate VPs of Investor Relations, providing issuers with their perspective on how to maximize an issuer’s return on investor outreach;
  • Brendan McGrail, BondLink’s Director of Communications, will lead a panel of reporters/journalists on how issuers can work more efficiently with the financial media; and
  • Dan Deaton, a partner at the law firm of Nixon Peabody, will outline how issuers can develop a clear legal framework for communicating with investors.

The bond market needs to move forward in terms of overall efficiency, greater transparency and the wider use of technology. That evolution has to come from issuers, and we believe our clients are the first movers. As interest rates move higher, the issuers who provide efficiencies to their investors will do better than those that don’t.

Colin MacNaught

BondLink CEO & Co-Founder