Services for Issuance of General Obligation Bonds
Financial Strategies' services are designed to reduce the issuer's
As a first step in the bond sale process, WM Financial Strategies develops a financing plan that includes recommendations with respect to the maturity schedule, redemption provisions, designation and flow of funds for bond accounts, bond issue dates, bond payment dates, bond pricing and procedures for investment of funds.
WM Financial Strategies prepares the notice of sale and bid form and recommends the financial provisions for inclusion therein including, among others, rate limitations, the price at which the bonds may be sold, basis for award of bonds, date of sale, accepted methods for submission of bids and provisions with respect to the good faith deposit.
WM Financial Strategies also works with bond counsel in the development of the bond ordinance (or resolution), continuing disclosure agreement and bond closing documents.
Official Statement Preparation
WM Financial Strategies prepares the Preliminary and Final Official Statement (collectively the "Official Statement") used in conjunction with the sale of bonds. In preparing the Official Statement WM Financial Strategies collects, researches, develops and compiles the data for use therein.
Paying Agent and Printer Selection
WM Financial Strategies assists the issuer in selecting a paying agent/registrar/transfer agent and the official statement printer through a competitive proposal process.
WM Financial Strategies develops a marketing plan for the
bonds including (a) identifying the information to be distributed to
prospective underwriters (bidders), (b) arranging printing and
distribution of the official statement, notice of sale and bid form, (c)
assisting in the arrangements for advertising the bond sale, and (d)
recommending the date and time for the bond sale.
In a competitive bond sale, WM Financial Strategies' goal is to maximize the number of bids received by making broker dealers throughout the country aware of the sale and by offering both traditional and modern electronic methods for submission of bids. By making documents available electronically at www.wmfinancialstrategies.com, offering SureBid and by offering electronic bidding, prospective bidders are able to review the documents and arrange submission of a bid in as little as one hour prior to the sale. WM Financial Strategies use of aggressive marketing has resulted in the receipt of as many as 13 bids on recent sales.
Sale Timing and Market Conditions
WM Financial Strategies believes that bond sale timing should be governed primarily by the timetable of capital spending requirements established by the issuer. For purposes of long-term planning, timing to the market is a gamble which should avoided. For purposes of short-term planning, WM Financial Strategies seeks to avoid bond sales on dates in which there may be unusual market fluctuations or a large number of competing issues.
In order to appropriately advise the issuer on the establishment of a desirable sale date and to keep the issuer abreast of the cost of the financing plan under development, WM Financial Strategies follows and advises upon the general economic conditions which may affect the capital markets as well as specific events then occurring in the bond market.
Credit Review and Rating
WM Financial Strategies advises the issuer whether to sell the bonds as unrated, rated or insured bonds. When a rating is desirable, WM Financial Strategies uses its best efforts to obtain the highest possible rating for the bond issue. The process utilized includes making a credit review of the issuer, advising the issuer of its findings, rehearsing possible rating questions, making an analysis of areas which can be expected to be raised by the rating agency, preparing supplemental reports and schedules for the rating agency, and preparing for a possible visit to the rating agency, if desirable.
Additionally, WM Financial Strategies reviews the feasibility of acquiring a municipal bond insurance policy which result in a "AAA" bond rating. In determining the feasibility of insurance, WM Financial Strategies prepares a present value analysis of the debt service based on insured and uninsured interest rates. The present value savings are then compared to the insurance premium (that is a one time fee paid at the time of the bond closing) to determine whether insurance acquisition is cost effective.
Services at Time of Bond Sale
WM Financial Strategies represents the issuer at the time of the bond sale. In that regard, assistance is provided in tabulating and comparing bids and in analyzing each bid for conformance to the bidding specifications. Thereafter, WM Financial Strategies recommends whether to accept the best bid or reject all bids. WM Financial Strategies maintains proprietary software for analyzing bids on the basis of either net interest cost or true interest cost and uses this software and its laptop computer in making an onsite analysis of the bids received.
In order to appropriately advise issuers on the establishment
of a desirable sale date and to keep clients abreast of the cost of the
financing plan under development, WM Financial Strategies monitors the
WM Financial Strategies provides many technical services required to effectuate the bond closing. These services include, among others, a report of all final mathematical computations (source and disbursement of funds, costs of issuance and debt service schedules), the transfer of funds at the time of the bond closing and obtaining CUSIP identification numbers.