Turning Nervous Concern into an Advantage

In the mid 1990s, the new chief financial officer for a city with a population a little over 100,000 had lingering concerns about the management of the city's $120 million portfolio. He was knowledgeable about investing after a successful career as an executive in private sector finance. He inherited a capable staff and had the skills required to oversee the finance department. But he and his staff had many responsibilities. And none were experts at managing the risks associated with a diversified fixed-income portfolio. He felt the weight of his fiduciary responsibility. Although he believed the portfolio was safe, how could he really be sure? Then he met a CFO from a bigger city at a finance conference. Her city had a portfolio considerably larger than his.

As they discussed their operations, he mentioned his concern about the investment portfolio. Her quick reply was "I've been a finance director for cities and other governments for quite some time, and I solved that problem by hiring an investment advisor". She went on to tell him how the program worked. She emphasized how it made her feel more secure in her job because she knew the portfolio was safe and performing well against the benchmarks. She said she had recommended the use of investment advisors to her other colleagues -- some from larger organizations and some from quite a bit smaller. Those who took her advice have thanked her time and again.

As they continued the conversation, she said that her biggest hurdle was figuring out how to go through the process of finding the right advisor. And she didn't know how she and her staff would find the time to do it. Because of those hurdles, she had procrastinated on hiring an advisor. She was charting new territory for herself and her staff. She knew they needed to be prepared for questions from council members and department heads. Now she looks back on the decision to move forward and wishes that she had acted sooner. She shared that the process of hiring an advisor would have been much easier and more efficient if there were a consultant that could have helped them.

Over ten years have passed since that conversation and both cities agree that hiring an investment advisor was a very good decision. They also agree that they would have benefited from the assistance of a consultant to guide them through the 'how' of selecting an advisor.

Portfolio Services for Government can help guide you in your quest to find the right professional municipal investment advisor to help manage your portfolio safely and effectively.