Bonds

Brodie Killian joins PFM Financial Advisors as director

Brodie Killian has moved to PFM Financial Advisors from Stifel Nicolas & Co., joining its Ann Arbor office as a director.

The move represents the capstone achievement of Killian’s broad career in the municipal bond market, he told The Bond Buyer. 

“My past experience gives me a unique perspective as a municipal advisor who has seen 360 degrees of the process of issuing municipal debt,” he said. “It doesn’t happen all that often, and I think it will give PFM’s practice a strategic advantage and our clients top service and solutions.”

“Having sat in the different chairs allows you to anticipate some of the items that the client might be thinking about,” Brodie Killian said,

Killian understands not only investment banking but also the issuer side, having served as deputy superintendent of business and operations at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools for two years before transitioning to banking in 2014. 

After a stint on the banking team at William Blair & Co., which quit public finance in 2017, he went on to lead Raymond James’ public finance banking operations in Michigan.

In 2018, he joined Stifel as managing director of its Southfield, Michigan, office, serving as lead banker for school district, community college and local government clients across the state.

“Having sat in the different chairs allows you to anticipate some of the items that the client might not be thinking about,” Killian said, noting he takes a holistic approach to MA. Now is a particularly vulnerable time for some issuers, he added, as a generation of decisionmakers hands over the reins to new blood. 

“Given the amount of turnover that we’ve seen in a lot of the C-suites of local governments and school districts and higher ed institutions, there’s a lot of education that’s going on about the process now,” he said. “So I think having that perspective, knowing how to educate the client, and bringing them up to speed fast enough and thoroughly enough on what’s often their first bond issue, has become all the more important.”

The simplest solution is not always the best one for the issuer, he pointed out, and it takes someone who understands the nuances of public finance to ensure clients get a good deal.

As for why this move is good for him, Killian said he was drawn to PFM by the opportunity to take on a new challenge and to be part of a team of industry leaders.

“I felt like moving to the municipal advisor side of the business, where I plan to finish my career, would be a great way for me to round out my work in public finance,” he said. “There’s such a need on this side to help these issuers that I feel like moving to the municipal advisory side will finally allow me to truly give them advice that takes into account all of these experiences that I’ve had.

“As far as PFMFA goes, I was just thrilled to join such a strong organization and team of professionals in the Ann Arbor office,” he added.

“We are excited to have Brodie join PFMFA’s Michigan financial advisory team,” Kari Blanchett, managing director and head of the Ann Arbor office, said in a statement. “He is well-known and respected, has proven experience in business development and client service, and complements our team very nicely.”

Prior to joining Plymouth-Canton, Killian was a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley. At PFM, he will work on everything from public education to local governments to higher education and healthcare. Ultimately, he will be transitioning to a project manager role, working across all sectors. 

PFM is a nearly 50-year-old financial advisory and consulting firm based in Pennsylvania. It was the top financial advisory firm by volume in 2023, according to Refinitiv data.

Killian said he’s learned a lot over his decades in the industry, and now he’s determined to use that knowledge to fulfill his responsibility as a fiduciary to issuers, helping them make the right decisions.

“Relationships, trust and expertise are still at the foundation of what we do as industry professionals, no matter what side of the business you are on,” he said. 

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