PFM Group Experts Outline a Way Forward at Bond Buyer Seminar on Distressed Municipalities

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PHILADELPHIA, March 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Speakers and panelists from the PFM Group, the nation's leading municipal finance advisor and a recognized expert in municipal turnarounds, covered a variety of topics at the second annual Bond Buyer symposium on distressed municipalities held last week in Providence, R.I. The symposium brought together national experts on financial management and planning as well as representatives of municipal entities who have weathered this storm to share their experiences and insights.

"With a number of cities and counties in various stages of financial distress, facing difficult decisions on spending cuts, borrowing, and planning for the future, this conference allowed us to share experience and some potential solutions," said Dean Kaplan, a PFM Managing Director and Conference Co-Chair. "As national specialists in best practices and long-term financial planning for the past twenty years, PFM has an ongoing commitment to client education, and this forum provided an excellent opportunity to share experiences and strategies with a broad spectrum of government officials," he added. Dean Kaplan noted that this year's conference focused on solutions to municipal financial distress, and showcased the variety of approaches used in different states.

In addition to PFM's Kaplan, who co-chaired the conference, several other PFM experts moderated panels. Vijay Kapoor, Director of PFM's Workforce Consulting practice, led a discussion on pension reform. Kapoor highlighted the recent announcement of a long-term pension solution for the City of Lexington, Kentucky, as a model for how cities, their unions, and other stakeholders could come together to resolve long-standing and thorny problems with unfunded pensions. David Eichenthal, another PFM Director, discussed early results of the federal government's Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) program and lessons learned for distressed communities nationally. Eichenthal's panel focused on the impact of SC2's pilot in developing a multi-year financial plan for the City of Youngstown, Ohio. Speakers also discussed financing techniques to help in fiscal recovery and a market roundtable on investing in distressed credits.

The symposium's keynote speaker was Gina Raimondo, General Treasurer of Rhode Island, who was preceded by Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. Following the keynote, attendees also heard from former New York State Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch, Co-Chair of the State Budget Task Force, who gave a "status report" on Municipal Financial Distress in America. During lunch, attendees heard from Allan Fung, Mayor of nearby Cranston, Rhode Island.

The PFM Group of companies includes Public Financial Management, Inc., the top-ranked municipal advisory firm in the nation, providing independent financial advisory services to a broad base of local, state, and regional government and non-profit clients throughout the United States in the fields of Higher Education, Public Power, Transportation, Healthcare, General Municipal and Management & Budget Consulting, among others. For the full year of 2012, PFM again led the market by advising clients on $56.9 billion of total debt issuances in 900 transactions. The firm's clients are state and local governments, non-profit corporations, pension funds, and similar institutional investors. PFM is a registered municipal advisor with the SEC and the MSRB under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, and has been ranked number one nationally in debt transactions for the past fifteen years in a row. PFM Asset Management LLC (PFMAM), part of the PFM Group of companies, is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. At December 31, 2012, PFMAM had $47.4 billion in assets under management for state and local governments and non-profit institutions and provided non-discretionary advice for an additional $26.9 billion in securities at December 31, 2012. PFMAM offers a strong history of thoughtful innovation coupled with an abiding dedication to protecting client capital and for over 30 years, has specialized in providing fixed income portfolio management for separate accounts, emphasizing a conservative, low-risk and disciplined approach to research and portfolio construction. Other major areas of expertise at PFMAM include separately managed bond portfolios and multi-asset class portfolio management, as well as investment advisory and consulting services in OPEB and pension management. PFM also provides best practices strategic consulting and pension advisory consulting services. The PFM Group employs more than 470 professionals serving a broad base of clients from 34 locations in every region of the country.

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CONTACT: Dean Kaplan, Managing Director, PFM Group, 215-557-1487 Sandra W. Sosinski, Director of Communications, PFM Group, 215-266-6614 Ayesha Mays, PFM Group, 215-557-1237

Source:Public Financial Management, Inc.