Thomson Reuters last month hired Daniel M. Berger as a senior market strategist at Thomson Municipal Market Monitor, focusing on market and credit activity.
Berger, who has more than 20 years of experience in municipal bond market research, sales, and asset management, will write for the Municipally Speaking section of the TM3 site
He reports to Robert J. Nelson, managing analyst at Thomson’s Municipal Market Data. Berger was hired to fill the senior analyst role that was vacated when Mike Bouscaren retired earlier this year.
Prior to MMD, Berger was a senior municipal bond analyst in the wealth management group at UBS Financial Services Inc. Earlier, he managed a $2 billion tax-exempt unit investment trust portfolios at Citi. His career in municipal bond research began while working for Shearson Lehman Brothers. He has also worked at MBIA Insurance Corp., where he managed the secondary market insurance desk.
“The municipal bond market has substantially changed,” Berger said. “With the credit crisis, one of the biggest changes has been less primary market bond insurance. People have become much more conscious of credit. A lot more attention is being paid to the underlying credit quality of their insured holdings.”
Berger does not dismiss the prevailing headline risk in the municipal market, but noted that the stories being written may be causing retail investors to stonewall Wall Street during what is usually a strong reinvestment period.
“The headline risk is greater than the actual risk,” he said. “There is a lot of noise in the market and it is a big disconnect.”
In his column on June 15, Berger wrote: “Municipal defaults and debt repudiation will continue to remain low. Budget stress should not be confused with the ability to pay debt service.”
Berger is on the executive board of the Municipal Analysts Group of New York and is its membership chairman and secretary. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University an MBA from New York University.