SAN FRANCISCO — California-based AGFS and Government Financial Strategies have merged their financial advisory practices in what they describe as a melding of shared industry values.
AGFS’ Robert Doty, a veteran of the municipal bond industry, joins Government Financial Strategies as general counsel and senior vice president, the two firms announced Tuesday.
“Neither Robert nor I were looking for a merger, we were looking for the connection and shared vision of ethical standards and independent advice,” Lori Raineri, president of Sacramento-based Government Financial Strategies, said in an interview.
Both said the merger made sense after they worked together on several deals, including as consultants on a Cleveland Metropolitan School District bond sale.
The district, which had typically in the past used negotiated sales, decided on a competitive sale for a $55 million qualified school construction bond deal in 2010 after advice from the two firms. They worked together after the district’s bond accountability commission hired AGFS to review bond practices.
“It’s been a situation when we have grown closer and closer together over a period of years,” said Doty, also based in Sacramento. “Both of us charge hourly rates, both of us try very hard to avoid conflicts of interest, and both of us try very hard to put clients first.”
Government Financial Strategies, founded by Raineri in 1988, has helped finance around $7 billion of public projects for hundreds of public agencies. The firm provides advice in the areas of financial planning, short- and long-term financing, technical writing, financial modeling and public communication.
Doty started in the municipal industry in 1974, working in the past as a bond counsel and underwriter. He has worked on billions of dollars of bond offerings across dozens of states.
Doty has served on the National Federation of Municipal Analysts board, as vice president of the National Association of Independent Financial Advisors and with the International Municipal Lawyers Association.
AGFS, which is run solely by Doty, will continue to serve as a separate consulting firm on other matters.