BNY Mellon's longstanding relationship with Allegheny County, second most populous county in Pennsylvania, has been significantly strengthened as a result of BNY Mellon Capital Markets, LLC's successful performance in its role as financial advisor to the county.
Pittsburgh is the county seat for Allegheny County, and the courthouse where Thomas Mellon sat as a judge in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, before switching careers from the law to banking, was across the street from the present-day BNY Mellon Center building in downtown Pittsburgh. Several years ago, BNY Mellon Capital Markets leveraged its extensive expertise in municipal finance to serve in a new role as financial advisor to the county and to the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN). Recent bond issuances on which BNY Mellon Capital Markets served as financial advisor have refinanced debt for both the county and ALCOSAN, saving taxpayers and rate payers nearly $60 million on old debt that is being retired.
The most recent phase of the county's debt refinancing took place in late June, with the county issuing $200 million in bonds that are expected to save the county more than $26 million in interest payments. In mid-August, ALCOSAN issued $106 million in bonds to refinance other debt of the authority, saving ratepayers $33 million in interest payments.
"When the county issued an RFP in 2011 for companies interested in serving as financial advisor, we saw the role as a strategic opportunity," said F. Charles ("Charlie") Goodwin, managing director and head of the financial advisory team.
"BNY Mellon was already strongly credentialed in several aspects of municipal finance, notably bond underwriting and trading at BNY Mellon Capital Markets, and debt servicing at Corporate Trust. Serving as financial advisor — a role we were awarded in 2012, and have held ever since — added an important new dimension to the services we can provide. It's also a role that aligns well with the company's risk profile."
During the four years since BNY Mellon's designation as financial advisor, Allegheny County has undertaken five successful bond issuances, and has regained AA and A debt ratings.
"With investors no longer willing to pay a premium for municipal bonds that are insured, the creditworthiness of the issuing municipality has become even more important. We've worked closely with county government to help them understand prevailing capital market conditions. Prudent fiscal management on the county's part and their receptiveness to sound financial advice has made for a very successful collaboration," Goodwin said.