UBS starts Q4 with a new wave of hires, promotions

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UBS announced another string of staff additions and in-house promotions, as it continued a buildup of its municipal bond practice.

New employees will focus on specific sectors and regions, according to an internal memo earlier this week. Bech Bruun, who joins as an executive director, comes over from the issuer side, as he is the former chairman of the Texas Water Development Board.

“Over the past year, we have continued to strategically grow our municipal securities business. We now have a Public Finance presence in 14 cities across the country and experienced leaders in place heading all of our regional and industry groups,” said Peter Hill, head of public finance, said in the memo. “The business carries great momentum and has completed approximately $1 billion in senior managed deals, $13 billion in co-managed transactions and $24 billion in selling group deals serving clients nationwide.”

Internal movements include Kristin Stephens, executive director, who has transitioned from her previous role as senior municipal strategist within the CIO to serve as head of credit strategies.

Her work experience includes time at ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation and JPMorgan. Stephens is a former chair of the Municipal Analysts Group of New York and former member of the Board of Governors of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts. She was also named a Rising Star by The Bond Buyer in 2016.

Karen Sunderam, executive director, has assumed the role of head of strategy and business development after participating in the 2017 Career Comeback Program at UBS. Her prior municipal experience includes 10 years at Morgan Stanley in banking, underwriting, and capital markets. Sunderam also taught middle school math as a member of Teach for America.

The following people will soon or have recently joined the UBS team.

Jeanny Pak, managing director, has joined UBS as head of the New York and Mid-Atlantic Region. She began her public finance career at UBS and has over 20 years of experience working with large New York and transportation issuers. Pak joined UBS from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and previously worked for Jefferies and Teach For America.

Lisa Rogers, managing director, joined UBS as co-head of healthcare, based out of New York. She has over 25 years of investment banking experience working with not-for-profit healthcare organizations across the country. Rogers joined UBS from J.P. Morgan, and previously worked at Moody's and Goldman Sachs.

Chris Bergstrom, executive director, based in New York, joined the firms’ transportation sector team. Bergstrom joins UBS with 13 years of banking experience at JPMorgan. At his prior firm he played a leadership role in expanding origination efforts around airport P3 transactions and other non-traditional financing opportunities in the aviation sector.

Jeffrey Cepler, executive director, based in New York, joined our healthcare sector team. His 20-plus years of professional experience includes time at Citigroup, RBC Capital and US Bancorp. Over his career, Cepler has executed over $10 billion in healthcare transactions on behalf of his clients.

Jose Arias, managing director, will be based in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico and joined UBS’ Southeast Region team. Arias has been a UBS banker for almost 30 years primarily serving Puerto Rico clients, including most of the major governmental issuers. Prior to joining UBS, he worked as Assistant to the President of the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico.

Bruun will be based in Austin and Dallas, as he joins the firms’ Southwest Region team.

In addition to his tenture at TWDB, he served on the senior staff of Texas Governor Rick Perry where he directed the office of gubernatorial appointments. Bruun has worked as the Government and Customer Relations Manager for the Brazos River Authority, Chief of Staff to Texas State Representative Todd Hunter and general counsel to the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence during the 81st Texas Legislature.

Earlier this year, he competed in the Republican primary for the seat in Texas' 27th Congressional District currently held by Michael Cloud.

Lester Byrd, executive director, based in Houston, joined the Southwest Region team. He joins UBS from Hilltop Securities and prior to entering the industry, he worked as a Special Assistant for the Harris County, TX County Commissioner Precinct One and spent 9 and a half years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Rita Kahn, executive director, based in Denver, joined the Central and Southwest Region team. She has over 30 years of experience in public finance and joins UBS from Loop Capital Markets. Prior to Loop, she worked as the National Director of State and Local Government Affairs for Public Finance.

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