Chicago opens door to more firms on its underwriting and advisory pools

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CHICAGO – Chicago is accepting request for qualification submissions from underwriters and municipal advisors to supplement its current three-year pool that runs through mid-2019.

“This is an open RFQ solicitation and all firms that responded to the June 10, 2016 city underwriter RFQ need not respond to this solicitation,” says the underwriters’ RFQ available on the city's investor website. Responses are due Monday.

In addition to their public finance experience, firms are required to provide information on their number of Chicago employees, diversity background of the firm and staff covering the city account, community involvement, current municipal finance department legal issues and rationale for why those issues do not negatively impact Chicago taxpayers, extension of credit support to the city, and meetings with other city departments, offices and committees.

“Any firms added to the pool as a result of their response to this RFQ solicitation will only be included in the pool for the remaining term of the 3-year time period established by June 10, 2016 RFQ solicitation,” the document reads.

Placement in the pool allows the firm to work on city general obligation, enterprise system revenue-backed credits, housing, tax-increment finance deals, social-impact bonds, and “any new bond credits considered by the city.”

The city is also accepting municipal advisory submissions “in order to increase the size of the pool from which the city will select qualified firms to serve as municipal advisors with respect to certain city of Chicago bonds and notes, risk management, and strategic services,” reads the document.

Advisor responses are due by Friday, Aug. 24. Like the underwriters’ RFQ, firms that responded to the 2016 request do not have to reapply to stay in the pool which runs through mid-2019.

Chicago is exploring the feasibility of an up to $10 billion pension obligation bond sale. Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown said this week she expects to decide before the end of the month on whether to recommend a deal to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago has selected teams for several upcoming transactions including a $750 million sales tax securitization borrowing through the city’s special corporation, $400 million of water bonds, and $500 million of sewer bonds. The city is planning to sell $4 billion of O’Hare International Airport bonds over the next several years including $1.5 billion to $2 billion before the end of the year and has not formally announced the complete financing team.

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Sell side Municipal advisors Broker dealers Pension obligation bond City of Chicago, IL Chicago Sales Tax Securitization Corp O'Hare Airport Illinois