The National Federation of Municipal Analysts presented awards to four individuals, including Tom Weyl from Eaton Vance Management and J. Ben Watkins 3d, Florida's bond division director, as well as a law firm, during its annual conference in Seattle earlier this month.
Weyl, vice president and manager of municipal research at Eaton Vance Management in Boston, and Robert Vincent, president of California Municipal Statistics Inc., a muni bond research firm in Oakland, Calif., each received 2009 Meritorious Service Awards.
The award was given to Weyl in recognition of his outstanding service to the NFMA, including his effectiveness as a proponent for NFMA concerns in the municipal market, the group said. It was through Weyl's leadership that the Supreme Court recognized the NFMA's view in its ruling in Kentucky v. Davis, the group's awards committee said.
Weyl also has served as the long-time chair of the NFMA' Industry Practices and Procedures Committee, chair of the subcommittee on hospital disclosure, an NFMA board member, and its chairman.
NFMA chairman Rob Yolland lauded Vincent for serving as the NFMA's Webmaster since 1997.
"It has been through his efforts that the NFMA has had a presence on the Internet, and his loyalty to the organization has facilitated the NFMA's educational efforts to its members and the industry at large through this medium," said Yolland, senior vice president of Franklin Templeton Investments in San Mateo, Calif.
Watkins, who has served on the Government Finance Officers Association's debt committee and the Muni Council, which is made up of representatives from about 20 market groups, was presented with the NFMA's 2009 Industry Contribution Award in recognition of his support of improved disclosure in the muni market.
His plaque read, in part: "Ben's willingness to speak out for more open communication between issuers and investors has been appreciated by the municipal analyst community."
The NFMA also presented the law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo PC with a 2009 Industry Contribution Award, in recognition of its continued service to the group. The firm has worked on many of the NFMA's major projects, including a disclosure document on hospitals, a white paper on federal securities law related to muni securities, and the friend-of-the-court brief the group filed in Kentucky v. Davis.
Sylvan Feldstein, a director in the investment department of the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, was presented with a Career Achievement Award, in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of municipal bond credit analysis throughout his career.
Feldstein's award said the NFMA "is indebted to Sylvan for his contributions to its professional development and education, through books, articles, and presentations."