John Sinsheimer, Illinois' debt manager

CHICAGO — John Sinsheimer will resign this week as Illinois' debt manager after six years in the position, Gov. Bruce Rauner's office said Tuesday.

"John Sinsheimer, current director of Capital Markets, has notified us of his intent to resign on Feb. 12," said Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly. "His duties will be temporarily handled by our General Counsel, Kim Fowler …. Kim has longstanding relationships with many in the investment community."

Fowler was recently named general counsel for the Office of Management and Budget; she has worked on state debt management under past Republican administrations. Fowler has long worked as a fiscal advisor to the Senate Republican caucus, working closely with the caucus' former chief of staff, Tim Nuding, who was tapped by Rauner to serve as director of OMB.

Republican Rauner took office in January, replacing Democrat Pat Quinn. Sinsheimer served as the pleasure of the governor.

Sinsheimer, a veteran of both private and public sector financial management positions, took the post in October 2009, steering the state through heavy borrowing to support a $31 billion capital program while its bond ratings sank. The state issued $3.4 billion last year. Its Illinois Jobs Now program is winding down.

Sinsheimer had previously served for three years as chief financial officer at Illinois Student Assistance Commission. The capital markets director reports directly to the governor, while Sinsheimer's predecessors reported to the cabinet level post of director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Before working at ISAC, Sinsheimer was associate vice president for finance at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also held fiscal positions at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago and Encyclopedia Britannica and worked for 12 years in global banking at the former First Chicago Bank.

Several market participants — from investment bankers to investors — described Sinsheimer as "hard-driving," "always accessible" and "thoughtful and straightforward." Several noted the difficult task Sinsheimer faced in bringing the state's paper to market as its credit ratings withered over mounting pension and budgetary woes, issues he had little control over.

"John always had the state's best interests in mind and the state got its money worth with John," said one market participant.

Illinois' next debt manager faces some limitations because the structuring of deals is limited by rules on debt service repayment and advisors, underwriters, and bond counsel must go through a competitive procurement process with the rotation of pools set by lottery.

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