CHICAGO — Public Financial Management Inc. has hired former Chicago budget director and financial advisory professional Bennett Johnson 3d to bolster its presence in the city.
Johnson joined the firm last month as a senior managing consultant, according to Jill Jaworski, managing director and head of the Chicago office. He will focus on client development, project management, and financial analysis work in Chicago and other Midwestern clients.
PFM opened its Chicago office four years ago and has staffed it with asset management professionals. Jaworski was the firm’s first public finance hire last April. She hired two junior advisers at the consultant level — Joseph Pankow and Hussain Waseem — in recent months before signing Johnson.
“We are very excited about Bennett,” Jaworski said. “He is very talented and we think his experience in the past as a financial adviser and with city government is so on point with what we are trying to do here at PFM.”
Johnson served as Chicago budget director in 2007 and 2008, steering the city through two difficult budget cycles as it faced growing challenges from a recessionary dip in revenues and growing labor expenses. Johnson’s financial advisory career began when he joined PFM competitor A.C. Advisory in 1996. He took a break in 2000 to work for three years as an assistant city comptroller.
Johnson returned to A.C. Advisory where he was a managing director from 2003 to 2007, working on deals for most large Chicago-area issuers. Most recently, he was a principal with the Electronic Knowledge Interchange Co.
Like its position nationally, PFM has a strong foothold in the Midwest with other offices in Des Moines, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Michigan. However, it had struggled to snare business in Illinois without a local public finance team.
PFM leads among financial advisory rankings nationally for the first nine months of the year and finished first last year, according to Thomson Reuters. In the Midwest, it ranks second so far this year, with 9.3% of market share. It was first last year with 16.9% of market share. In Illinois, PFM ranks 12th so far this year and seems poised to rise. It was 10th last year.
The firm is serving as a co-financial adviser on the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority of Illinois’ $1.2 billion sale this week and is the adviser on Illinois’ pending sale of at least $1.4 billion of tobacco bonds.