Morgan Stanley hires former Citi bankers to lead key public finance groups

Morgan Stanley has hired four former Citi public finance employees, becoming the latest firm to tap the talent from Citi’s shuttered municipal business.

Three of the new hires will be group heads in key public sector and structured finance businesses, a source said.

Alex Zaman is the new head of Surface Transportation and Urban Development at Morgan Stanley, Lori Small has been hired as Head of Airports, and Shai Markowicz is Head of Social Infrastructure.

Zaman and Boggan are based in Los Angeles. Small is based in Chicago, while Markowicz is based in South Florida.

The new hires will report to Zachary Solomon, executive director and co-head of public finance investment banking at Morgan Stanley, and David Gallin, managing director and co-head of public finance investment banking, at the firm.

Morgan Stanley has hired four former Citi workers, Alex Zaman (right), Lori Small (left), Shai Markowicz and Imani Boggan.

Morgan Stanley’s hiring comes as other firms snatch up the talent from Citi and UBS, which exited the negotiated muni underwriting business in October.

In the wake of Citi’s exit from the muni market, around 10 healthcare bankers were hired by Jefferies, while HilltopSecurities, Oppenheimer, Siebert Williams Shank and Ramirez & Co. have all hired former UBS employees over the past few months.

Morgan Stanley’s new hires have vast experience in the public finance space, which sources said shows that competition to bring on former Citi employees is tough.

Zaman spent nearly 11 years at Citigroup based in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and was co-head of the firm’s National Transportation practice. He worked on various infrastructure projects covering a broad range of assets and services, including highways, toll roads, mass transit, airports, affordable housing, commercial real estate, tax increment districts, higher education and general government operations, per his LinkedIn profile.

Zaman worked on over $40 billion of financings as book-running or co-senior manager to execute a variety of credit structures, including tax-exempt, taxable, private placements, revenue bonds, general obligation bonds, tax allocation bonds, pension obligation bonds, lease-leasebacks, public-private partnerships, project finance transactions, various federal credit programs including TIFIA and RRIF, as well as ESG-designated financings including social and green bonds.

Small, who spent more than 13 years at Citi, ascended the ranks at the firm and most recently was co-head of the Citi’s Airport Finance Group after starting as an associate in 2010.

Markowicz spent almost 20 years at Citi as a director.

Morgan Stanley ranks third among top underwriters year-to-date, underwriting $4.952 billion with a 9.1% market share. The largest deals include the California Community Choice Financing Authority with $1.1 billion of Clean Energy Project revenue bonds, the California Health Facilities Financing Authority with $1 billion of Scripps Health revenue bonds, and the Southeast Alabama Gas Supply District with $820 million of supply revenue refunding bonds.

The top two underwriters so far in 2024 are BofA Securities with $8.885 billion and J.P. Morgan with $5.431 billion.

Morgan Stanley was in the top five underwriters for 2023. The firm fell to fourth last year from third in 2022, accounting for $26.988 billion and a market share of 7.4%. This was a decrease the $27.489 billion and its market share of 7.6% in 2022.

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