Title: Director, Senior Municipal Underwriter
Firm: RBC Capital Markets
After a college internship with a major Wall Street firm gave Glenn McGowan a glimpse of the intricacies of the municipal finance industry, he scrapped his previous plan of attending business school and becoming an accountant.
“Once I got to know this industry and see how my career progressed, frankly I didn’t want to leave,” the 36-year-old director and senior municipal underwriter at RBC Capital Markets said. “I grew to like the client base and work we did.”
He said he was always attracted to the idea of public policy and finance, but gained further interest in the industry because it is vital to government and not-for-profit entities that create infrastructure critical to national development.
It was an internship at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 2005 that opened his eyes to municipal finance and led to his pursuit of a career in investment banking and sales and trading.
He remained at Goldman from 2006 to 2011 at which time he left his role as an associate in municipal underwriting to join TD Securities as a vice president in the debt capital markets syndicate for one year from 2012 to 2013.
He arrived at RBC later that year and has spent a little over half of his 14 years in the industry there.
Glenn currently leads the municipal underwriting coverage for RBC’s West Coast clients with a specialty in California municipalities, as well as leads the firm’s national taxable municipal underwriting efforts.
During his time at RBC, he has facilitated the underwriting of more than $12.5 billion of municipal bond transactions.
What began as an interest in policy and finance, he said, morphed into building strong communities around the country and strong relationships with issuers and clients as well as “getting to know the people that drive the industry,” Glenn said.
His work caught the attention of his colleagues, especially Jim Tricolli, RBC’s former co-head of municipal finance, who nominated Glenn.
"Ever since joining the firm more than seven years ago, Glenn has been a leading light in RBC’s municipal finance practice,” Tricolli said. “His sharp eye for detail, ability to connect with people, and lifelong study of capital markets have made him the firm’s go-to resource to lead some of the most sophisticated underwriting projects we have taken on for our West Coast clients.”
Glenn said he values the chance to work closely with issuers and municipalities on taxable municipal product, which has increased to roughly 30% of the municipal bond industry’s total volume and is helping aid issuers and municipalities during a challenging time.
“The burden of financing or funding infrastructure will fall mostly on the issuer base absent a more centralized federal plan,” he said. “The challenge is that the industry is facing the upgrade, replacement, and repair of infrastructure amid that uncertainty.”
When he’s not working on financing infrastructure or public finance projects, the resident of Garden City, N.Y. can be found enjoying family trips to the beach on Cape Cod with his wife, Libby, a financial journalist at Bloomberg, and their two children, Betsy, three and Jack, one.
He also enjoys hobbies, such as skiing, golfing, and playing squash.