Want to Get Hired by More Public Finance Issuers? Know Your Position

Posted by Peter Orr on Oct 06, 2010

The first word in our company name means we do a lot more than calc pv savings. We often work with investment banking or financial advisor clients to come up with the clearest way to express complex analyses to tax-exempt issuers. Frequently this leads to crafting ways to convey key messages as part of a broader strategy to get hired.  What often surprises me about these discussions is how little people know about their position. Let me explain

The concept of “strategy” is inextricably interwoven with the ideaSWOT image of “position”. How could you have a strategy in checkers if you don’t know where your pieces are, or in what direction to move them in order to improve that position relative to your opponent? Yet time and time again when I ask a banker to tell me about their position with an issuer, or their competitor’s position with an issuer, they have only a vague idea if any at all. How can you execute a sales/marketing strategy without knowing your position?

What are you bringing to the table from the issuer’s perspective? A relationship of trust with senior management or the Board, balance sheet strength in the form of letters or lines of credit or other credit product, or maybe cutting edge ideas and analytics that help illuminate the tough financial decisions the issuer faces? Perhaps some combination? How do you rank in these areas relative to your peers?

If you don’t know then you don’t know your position...and you don’t have a strategy.