Five individuals won NFMA's annual awards

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CORONADO, CALIF. -- The National Federation of Municipal Analysts presented its annual industry awards to five of its members during a luncheon ceremony Wednesday.

The awards, given every year since 1984, recognize individuals that the NFMA’s awards committee feels have contributed to the “goals of the NFMA for the advancement of the municipal bond industry.”

The ceremony took place as part of the group’s annual conference and was presided over by Julie Egan, a senior vice president and head of municipal research at Community Capital Management who chaired the awards committee.

The Industry Contribution Award went to Virginia Housum, senior vice president at UMB Bank in Minneapolis, who has served as indenture trustee or counsel to trustees on hundreds of troubled bonds, according to Egan.

“She improves the flow of information to investors, helps borrowers in their communication with lenders, and puts bondholders together so they can work effectively toward their common goals,” Egan said. “She has helped to set a high standard for how indenture trustees handle defaulted bond issues, always with the goal of maximizing recoveries as quickly as possible.”

Kurt Forsgren, managing director at S&P Global Ratings, received the Meritorious Service Award for demonstrating leadership in the NFMA. As communications committee chair, he stewarded the NFMA to overhaul its website and adopt a conference app which allows attendees to view the agenda and to message one another via their mobile phones. Forsgren is also annual conference committee co-chair for 2018, and is serving on the NFMA’s executive committee.

“He serves when asked – this includes communications, conference and executive committees, and speaking - whatever is asked,” Egan said. “I have never heard him say no, so congratulations Kurt!”

Two analysts from Moody’s Investors Service received the Award of Excellence for work they have done reporting on pensions. Tom Aaron, a vice president, and Tim Blake, a managing director, received the honor in recognition of their “excellent work developing more accurate pension liability metrics for issuers of municipal debt and incorporating those metrics into their rating process,” Egan said.

The final award was the Career Achievement Award, given to Charles E. Emrich who has had a long career as a municipal analyst, initially at Moody’s, then at Legg Mason, and most recently for T.Rowe Price. Egan said that Emrich has been a mentor to many analysts among other achievements.

“He is a past recipient of the NFMA Meritorious Service Award, spent six years on the Board of Governors, serving on the executive committee for three of those years, as disclosure chair for four years and as treasurer and secretary,” Egan said. “After leaving the board, Chuck continued to make himself available to serve on the finance committee and support NFMA disclosure efforts.”

The NFMA conference concludes Friday.

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