Daniel Keating, a 35-year veteran of the municipal bond market and former Bear Stearns executive, joins insurer Build America Mutual as senior managing director for municipal bond markets starting Monday.
He will be doing work for both BAM's capital markets and public finance departments, and said in an interview that he hopes to use his contacts within the municipal bond market to bring in new clients. He described his position as being "a jack of all trades."
Keating, most recently chief operating officer at Samuel A. Ramirez, spent most of his career at Bear Stearns, where he managed all of the firm's tax-exempt products. Keating served as a member of the board of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and was chairman of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board in 2001.
Keating said he took the last year off to ski in Vermont, fish around the Dominican Republic, participate in a 100-mile bike ride for charity, among other activities.
"[The position at BAM] is a nice opportunity to do something different than what I have done for 30 plus years," he said. "It's going to be a bit of an exciting challenge to take the skillset I've developed over the years and bring it to insurance."
He added that that he has been friends with BAM's chairman Robert Cochran and its CEO Sean McCarthy for years, and that he "likes the energy" of the employees of BAM.
"I've always respected the way BAM runs its business and the way they treat their customers," he said.
McCarthy said in a press release that Keating's extensive experience and deep knowledge of the intricacies of the municipal market and people who work in the market make him "uniquely qualified" for the position.
As of Sept. 30, BAM has written more than 1,200 policies, insuring more than $10.3 billion of municipal securities, and guaranteed more than half of all insured new-issue bond sales in 2014, according to the press release.
The firm was founded in 2012 and is competing with Assured Guaranty and MBIA as the bond insurance industry looks to rebound after the financial crisis. Through the first half of this year the insurers as a group wrapped $7.3 billion in par value of bonds, or almost 30% more than in the same period last year, according to Thomson Reuters.
The industry insured 4.8% of the $143.2 billion of new bond issues in the first half, up from 3.2% a year earlier. Before the financial crisis, financial guarantors insured around 60% of new issues.
A spokesman said BAM isn't looking to hire for any more senior positions at this time.
Hillary Flynn is the buyside reporter at The Bond Buyer.
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