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Gary Hall, President of Infrastructure & Public finance Speaks to Bloomberg on the State of Pub Fin

Gary Hall is President of Infrastructure & Public Finance for Siebert Williams Shank & Co.

Gary Hall, President of Infrastructure and Public Finance at Siebert Williams Shank & Co. (SWS) appeared as a featured guest on Bloomberg Radio on Wednesday, Nov. 29 to discuss the current state of the public finance market and the pent-up demand for infrastructure improvements in the U.S.

Mr. Hall was also asked to discuss Siebert Williams Shank’s national impact in infrastructure development, some of the firm and its clients’ biggest wins 2023, plus his outlook of further growth in 2024.

While high interest rates have created headwinds in overall market volume, Hall emphasized SWS’ counterintuitive approach of investing heavily on behalf of clients in three areas of public finance this year: higher education infrastructure, the K-through-12 space, and transmission and water supply systems.

Hall was especially encouraged by the state of Texas recently authorizing $20 billion of bond issuance for K-12 infrastructure improvements.

“That tells me that we’re going to have a lot more investment in the area,” Hall explained. “We still have this pent-up demand for infrastructure in the country. Regardless of where the rates are or the cost of construction, folks are going to have to make these improvements.”

Bloomberg Radio hosts also asked Hall about whether he has seen a change in infrastructure investment since Congress’ 2021 passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. He said much of that money is flowing through local levels, so the projects’ timing is dictated by states and their collaboration with various partnering agencies. Federal money is typically disbursed based on a formula that requires numerous applications for competitive grants.

On the eve of a presidential election year, however, Hall envisions those timelines speeding up in 2024.

“I am predicting that we’ll start to see more projects actually be shovel-ready,” Hall said. “Once these projects are actually being implemented and we see the improvements, I think that’s when we start to see more sustainable investment in our infrastructure around the country.”

Hall also mentioned that Siebert got close to $60 billion of issuance this year through the tender market process, in which issuers ask investors to buy back bonds so they can achieve savings. Those refunding’s were rarely used in the past, but Hall sees that trend increasing in tandem with new capital projects going forward.

Hall emphasized the growing national footprint of the firm, with 27 offices across the nation and being the largest minority-owned investment bank in the country.

Hall told Bloomberg. “Having spokes in those communities allows us to know where the deal flow will come.”

To hear the interview conducted by Bloomberg Radio hosts Paul Sweeney and Jennifer Ryan., click here.

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