Bonds

How UBS and Citigroup’s munis exit is impacting career moves

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Career moves are heating up as we move through 2024, many linked to Citi’s exit from the municipal bond market in December 2023, and UBS’s exit from the negotiated underwriting business in October. Many firms are now quickly scooping up former Citi and UBS talent. 

At Morgan Stanley, four former Citi public finance employees have joined the team. Alex Zaman is Morgan Stanley’s new head of surface transportation and urban development, Lori Small has been hired as head of airports, and Shai Markowicz will be head of social infrastructure. Imani Boggan also joined the firm. These 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 13 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. Small spent more than 13 years at Citi and rose through the ranks at the firm. Most recently he 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.

Read more: Stifel hires Joseph Narens, former Citi HY trading head, boosting HY presence 

Former UBS employee Andrew Belinfanti Knight was recently hired by Siebert Williams Shank as a managing director of public finance. He previously served as executive director of public finance at UBS, where he was in charge of day-to-day banking coverage of local and state entities issuing municipal bonds in the Western region, as well as conducting credit rating analysis of cities, counties, schools and community colleges, helping the firm build its public finance business in California.

Belinfanti Knight will join three bankers already working in the firm’s Los Angeles office, led by Grace Yuen, managing director and head of the West region. “We are very excited to have Andrew join our team and elevate our presence in the K-14 educational sector in California and throughout the West Coast,” Yuen said. “His knowledge about the sector will be invaluable as we continue to serve our clients and grow our footprint in the region.”

Read more: Cabrera Capital Markets expands with three bankers from UBS 

Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. also hired former UBS employees, including veteran Chicago banker Elizabeth Coolidge as head of public finance, as well as Chicago-based bankers Liberty Ziegahn, managing director, and Madison Maher, director.

With the hiring of Coolidge, Oppenheimer will now have a trio of women leading its public finance team: Coolidge; Beth Wolchock, who is head of municipal underwriting; and Cynthia Henry Pinto, head of municipal sales. “In my 35 years in my business, I’ve never run across another firm that has all women at the top on the muni side,” said Coolidge, who started her new position in January and will also oversee the firm’s two-year-old municipal restructuring group.

“With the loss of players like UBS and Citigroup, there’s going to be a need for more innovative ways to fill the gap around lending,” Coolidge said. “We will be growing the business strategically, working with clients where we provide high quality solutions to their issuers, similar to what my team and I did on the Chicago [Sales Tax Securitization Corporation] deal,” she said, referring to the Bond Buyer’s 2023 Deal of the Year.

Read on for coverage of these recent career moves and how UBS and Citigroup exiting is impacting hiring. 

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