Build America Mutual, the municipal bond insurance company founded in 2012, is bringing on a strategic advisory committee to help expand use of insurance in the muni market.

Municipal finance veterans Dan Keating, Chris Hamel, Thalia Meehan and Ken Williams will guide BAM’s management on growth opportunities to build on the company’s five-year track record of growth. The group of four will be founding members of the committee, with Keating serving as chairman.

“Actively soliciting input and feedback from people with a wide range of talents and experience has been a crucial part of our approach to building BAM in the past five years,” said Seán W. McCarthy, CEO of BAM. “Establishing the strategic advisory committee formalizes that process, and this group in particular gives our management team access to a wide range of perspectives from people who have built impressive individual track records across their careers.”

Sean McCarthy, CEO of Build America Mutual.
Seán W. McCarthy

BAM in 2017 accounted for 39% of municipal bond insurance by par value as it battles for share of the business with Assured Guaranty Ltd., the only other muni insurer still wrapping new deals. MBIA Inc.'s National Public Finance Guarantee stopped writing new business in June.

Keating is a 35-year veteran of municipal finance with experience in sales, trading, underwriting and public finance. He previously served as chief operating officer for Samuel A. Ramirez & Co., and earlier was in charge of tax-exempt products for Bear Stearns & Co. He is a former chairman of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. Most recently, Keating was senior managing director, municipal markets for BAM, and is retiring from that day-to-day role to join the strategic advisory committee.

Dan Keating

Hamel will join the committee upon retiring effective Feb. 1 from his role at RBC Capital Markets, where he spent the past 15 years and served as head of the municipal finance group. During his tenure, he built RBC's municipal unit into a consistent top-five market leader and one of the largest municipal practices in the country, with operations based in New York and bankers in 27 cities across the country. Hamel is an active advocate for U.S. infrastructure investment and he currently serves as chair of SIFMA’s infrastructure policy committee. He is also a member of SIFMA’s municipal securities division executive committee.

Chris Hamel, head of municipal finance at RBC Capital Markets.
Chris Hamel

Thalia Meehan is a chartered financial analyst who has over 30 years of experience in the investment sector. She retired in 2016 from Putnam Investments, where she served in multiple roles, including team leader and portfolio manager, and head of municipal credit research. Meehan currently serves on the board of the Boston women in public finance and was previously a member of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Investor Advisory Group.

Williams retired last year as the head of the municipal securities group for Stifel Financial Group, a top 10 senior underwriter of municipal bonds nationwide. He joined Stifel in 2011, when the firm purchased Stone & Youngberg, where he was president and chief executive officer. At the time, Stone & Youngberg was the largest California-based underwriter of municipal bonds. Williams is a former vice chairman of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, a former board member of The Bond Market Association (now SIFMA), and a past chairman of the Bond Dealers of America.

Ken Williams

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