Pension overhaul in Rhode Island has prompted the municipal finance advisor PFM Group to open an office in Providence.

“Absolutely,” said PFM managing director June Matte. “That’s one of the reasons we added senior people to support our local government practice.”

Philadelphia-based PFM provides pension and other post-employment benefits, or OPEB, consulting through its PFM Asset Management subsidiary.

Rhode Island last month passed an overhaul to its state-run public pension plans. In addition, there are 36 locally run plans largely not covered by the law that are spread across 24 cities and towns — more than half the state’s 39 municipalities.

William Fazioli and Stephen Maceroni, who joined the firm in September, and Peter Scoliard, hired 18 months ago out of the Boston office, will work as senior management consultants out of the Providence office — the company’s 33rd — which opened Monday.

They have a combined 67 years of experience serving local government and providing financial advisory services.

“It was time to broaden our New England presence,” Matte said. “We’re looking for a broader platform, and we have three very senior people who have worked in that region.”

Previously, PFM had coordinated Rhode Island work out of Boston. She said the New England expansion will enable the firm to expand its offerings in Connecticut and New Hampshire as well.

Public Financial Management Inc. is the top municipal finance advisor in the U.S., according to Thomson Reuters. It advised on 346 issues worth a combined $15.4 billion for the first six months of 2011.

Fazioli served as financial advisor to Newport, R.I, Keene, N.H., and the Hartford Metropolitan District Commission in Connecticut. He has also served as city manager of East Providence, R.I. Within the Ocean State, he also served as Charlestown treasurer and North Providence finance director.

Maceroni has completed deals for Providence, East Providence, Pawtucket and Cranston in Rhode Island as well as several issues for the Rhode Island Health and Education Building Corp.

Scoliard is an attorney as well as a specialist who has worked with PFM’s higher education and nonprofit institutional clients. Over the past 30 years, he has managed bond financings for colleges and universities, independent schools, cultural institutions, hospitals, nursing homes, health centers and social service agencies worth more than $3 billion.

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