Morgan Stanley has hired former Puerto Rico Government Development Bank president Jorge Irizarry to attract public finance business in Puerto Rico.
Irizarry started working for Morgan Stanley this month in Puerto Rico’s capital city of San Juan, where Morgan Stanley has opened an office for him to work in. Morgan Stanley will also continue to be represented in Puerto Rico through a strategic alliance with Banco Popular, a North and Latin American bank.
Irizarry was head of financing at the GDB, where he had served as president in 2008. Irizarry also worked as chairman of the board of the commonwealth’s Employee Retirement System and the Economic Development Bank. He was also on the boards of several Puerto Rico government entities.
The Puerto Rico government has not sold bonds since November. The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority has said it plans to seek bank loans, rather than sell bonds to serve the coming fiscal year’s capital needs. Given the rating agency downgrades of the Puerto Rico government and its utilities and given that a new governor has just taken the reins of power, “I think they’re buying time to get their budget and all other actions in place,” Irizarry said.
The Puerto Rico government has been taking positive steps towards fiscal health, Irizarry said. The government will come to the market when things stabilize, he said.
“We believe there will be business for us to do,” Irizarry said. “We’re in a quiet period; that’s obvious.”
Morgan Stanley worked on a deal with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority in 2012, Irizarry said.