Our People

BAM’s Decades of Experience

Build America Mutual has seasoned professionals with decades of experience in bond insurance, credit underwriting, risk management and the public finance market. Our underwriting group works closely with our surveillance, risk management, legal and financial reporting teams to assure compliance with underwriting guidelines and best practices.

Board of Directors

Senior Management

Municipal Underwriting Team

Seán W. McCarthy

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer; Chair, Investment Committee and Member, Risk Committee

Seán McCarthy co-founded Build America Mutual Assurance Company, the first mutual municipal bond insurer, in July 2012. Prior to that, he was President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO), following its acquisition of Financial Security Assurance (FSA) in July 2009. He was formerly President and COO of FSA. Mr. McCarthy joined FSA in 1988 as head of the Asia-Pacific business, opening that market for public finance. He subsequently headed all business groups prior to becoming COO and, in that position, was instrumental in developing the necessary resources for FSA to enter the municipal business in 1990. He also chaired the Association of Financial Guaranty Insurers from 2006 to 2011. In earlier positions, Mr. McCarthy was a vice-president in the municipal group of PaineWebber and served at E. F. Hutton in the public finance group. He graduated from Georgetown University (BA,1982).

Manning Rountree

Director; Member, Human Resources Committee, Investment Committee and Risk Committee

Manning Rountree is the Chief Executive Officer of White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (WTM), a publicly-traded, Bermuda-domiciled holding company for insurance and financial services interests around the world. He was formerly President of White Mountains Capital, where he oversaw transactions, mergers and acquisitions and new business development. From 2009 to 2014, he also served as President of White Mountains Advisors, the company’s in-house asset management operation.
Prior to joining WTM in 2004, Manning was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, focused on the insurance, asset management and financial services sectors, and the Director of Corporate Development for Putnam Investments, a Boston-based asset management company.
Manning has a BS in Mathematical Economics and a BA in English, Summa Cum Laude, from Wake Forest University. Manning has a JD, Magna Cum Laude, from the Northwestern School of Law, and an MM, With Distinction, from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Manning was a 1998 Henry Luce Scholar and spent that year helping the Development Bank of Singapore acquire and recapitalize banks in Southeast Asia in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis.

Clarence Anthony

Director; Member, Audit and Human Resources Committees

Clarence E. Anthony serves as CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities (NLC), the oldest and largest organization of municipal officials in the United States, representing more than 2000 cities and towns. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director of NLC, Mr. Anthony served as President of Anthony Government Solutions, a consulting firm to government and private sector organizations, and was previously Mayor of South Bay, Florida, for 24 years. Mr. Anthony has been on the forefront of politics in the United States and internationally for the past 20 years, and served as President of both the Florida League of Cities and the National League of Cities. He also served as First Vice President of International Union of Local Authorities and as Founding Treasurer of United Cites and Local Governments (UCLG), the international voice for local governments, and as the Interim Manager for UCLG. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with specialization in City Growth Management Policy from Florida Atlantic University.

Reid Campbell

Director; Member, Audit Committee, Investment Committee, and Nominating and Governance Committee

Reid Campbell is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (WTM), a publicly-traded, Bermuda-domiciled holding company for insurance and financial services interests around the world. He was formerly the President of White Mountains Advisors, the company’s in-house asset management operation, and a Managing Director of White Mountains Capital, where he oversaw the company’s capital management and treasury functions. Prior to joining WTM in 1994, Reid spent three years with KPMG in its Stamford, Connecticut audit practice. He is a registered Certified Public Accountant in the state of Connecticut and a member of the Connecticut Society of CPAs and the AICPA. Reid has a BS in Business Administration and Accounting from Washington & Lee University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Robert P. Cochran

Director; Member, Nominating and Governance Committee

Bob Cochran co-founded Build America Mutual Assurance Company, the first mutual municipal bond insurer, in July 2012. Prior to that, he was a co-founder of Financial Security Assurance (FSA) and was CEO from 1990 to 2009 (NYSE: FSA from 1994 to 2000). On joining FSA in 1985, he headed the Financial Guaranty Department and, in that role, led the Company in establishing its underwriting and risk management criteria. In 1990, the board appointed him Chief Executive Officer, successor to Jim Lopp, FSA’s principal founder. He also chaired the Association of Financial Guaranty Insurers from 2001 to 2002. Mr. Cochran joined FSA from the law firm Kutak Rock, where he was a public finance lawyer and Managing Partner of the Washington, DC office. In July 2013, Bob was named to the Board of Directors of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). He graduated from Centre College (BA,’71) and Duke University School of Law (JD), followed by a federal judicial clerkship for Judge Pierce Lively (6th Circuit Court of Appeals).

Natalie Cohen

Director; Chair, Risk Committee and Member, Audit Committee

Natalie Cohen is president and founder of National Municipal Research, Inc., a consulting and research company focused on U.S. state and local government finance. She recently served as Head of Municipal Research at Wells Fargo Securities, and previously worked at New York City OMB, a rating agency, the first monoline reinsurance company, and several primary bond insurers. She was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement” award by Smith’s Research and Gradings and named a “Trailblazing Woman in Public Finance” by The Bond Buyer. She has been a member of the Government Accounting Standards Advisory Council, a Board member of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts, a member of the Government Finance Officers Association standing budget committee and is on the National League of Cities Public Sector Retirement Advisory Committee. Ms. Cohen holds an MPA from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and a BA from Hampshire College.

John White

Director; Chair, Nominating and Governance Committee and Member, Audit Committee, Human Resources Committee, Investment Committee, and Risk Committee

John White serves as a Managing Director, Chairman, and a member of the Board of Directors for the PFM Group, which is a leading provider of independent financial advisory services and asset management to public sector and not-for-profit clients across the US. He previously served PFM as its Chief Executive Officer for more than 30 years, until the conclusion of 2011. Prior to joining PFM in 1980, Mr. White held policy-making positions in various aspects of local, state and federal governments, including serving as director of the transition staff when Congressman William Green was elected Mayor of Philadelphia, and later as a transition advisor to Edward G. Rendell when he was elected Mayor of Philadelphia in 1991 and Governor of Pennsylvania in 2002. Mr. White was educated at The William Penn Charter School, where he currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of Overseers. He is a graduate of Muhlenberg College. In the past he has been a member of the Boards of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts as well as Chair of the Philadelphia Zoning Board.

Grant Dewey

Head of Municipal Capital Markets

Grant Dewey is Head of Municipal Capital Markets, responsible for expanding utilization of BAM’s guaranty by institutional market participants, including major investors and underwriting and trading desks. He joined BAM in March 2018 after 33 years as a Managing Director in Citi’s Municipal Bond Division, serving a wide range of institutional investors including Bank Portfolios, Mutual Funds, Credit Hedge Funds, and Investment Advisors. Dewey began his career at Smith Barney as an Analyst in the Bank Advisory Group before moving to Institutional Sales, where he contributed to Citi’s top ranking in Municipal Markets every year since 2012. He holds a BA in economics from Middlebury College.

Don Farrell

Managing Vice President, Investor Relations

Don Farrell is a Managing Vice President in BAM’s Investor Relations department. He joined BAM in 2012 as Head of East Region Public Finance. Prior to joining BAM, he was Managing Director in Public Finance for Assured Guaranty, and before that worked at Ambac for 17 years, where he was involved in all aspects of municipal transaction underwriting, including pricing and client relationship management. He holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from Pace University.

Suzanne Finnegan

Chief Credit Officer

Suzanne Finnegan has responsibility for underwriting approval of all transactions for insurance. Prior to joining BAM, she was Executive Vice President at Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., where she was the Senior Credit Officer overseeing credit transactions in the Government Banking segment. From 1990 to 2004, she was the Chief Municipal Underwriting Officer at FSA, responsible for domestic municipal finance underwriting, and was Chair of the Municipal Underwriting Committee. Prior to joining FSA, she was Vice President and Manager of the General Surveillance Department at MBIA and earlier supervised MBIA’s Special Tax and Leasing Group. She previously worked in the Public Finance Division of Marine Midland Bank and in the Municipal Research Group at Oppenheimer & Co. Suzanne is a past Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Association for Governmental Leasing and Finance. She is a member of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts, the Southern Municipal Analysts Society, and the Municipal Analysts Group of New York. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University and an M.B.A. from Fordham University.

Jeffrey Fried

General Counsel

As General Counsel, Jeffrey Fried oversees legal and regulatory affairs and related corporate projects. He joined BAM from the Edwards Wildman Palmer Law Firm, where he was a Partner and the Senior Legal Risk Manager for the firm’s Public Finance Practice. From 2007 to 2011, he was a Partner at Greenberg Traurig, where he helped to establish a national public infrastructure practice focused on municipal finance, public-private partnerships and regional public finance underwritings. Before that, he served as a Senior Managing Director and Group Head in Public Finance at FGIC and earlier was General Counsel, Public Finance and General Counsel, AFSLP at AMBAC. He has a B.S. from State University of New York at Albany and a J.D. from the Fordham School of Law.

Richard G. Holzinger

Head of Investor Relations

Rick Holzinger manages investor relations for BAM. Rick has been a participant in the fixed income markets for over 25 years, and joined BAM in 2012 from FTI Consulting Inc., where he established a Structured Finance advisory business. Before that, from 2004 to 2008, he was Managing Director of the Corporate Finance Group at Financial Security Assurance (“FSA”). He joined FSA in 1996 as Head of its Asia-Pacific business, where he oversaw all of FSA’s products in Asia, including infrastructure in Australia. Prior to joining FSA, Rick was a Managing Director in the Securitization and Project Finance group at Bankers Trust Company in Hong Kong and New York. Earlier positions included developing project and lease financings at PaineWebber, Inc. and an Associate position at Dewey, Balantine, Bushby Palmer and Wood. He holds a B.A. in Government and Economics from Harvard University and a J.D., with honors, from the University of Texas School of Law at Austin.

Patrice James

Head of Diversity and Inclusion; Public Finance Operations Manager

Patrice James is BAM’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion, and serves as the Public Finance Operations Manager. She joined BAM in 2012 and was previously Vice President, Business Operations at Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., where she managed the public and structured finance operations team, and a senior analyst at Genworth Financial. She is a former member of the General Electric Co. Women’s Network, where she served as chair and co-chair of various philanthropic community initiatives for women, and a former member of Parents of Children of Color at the Dalton School in New York City.

 

Elizabeth (Beth) Keys

Chief Financial Officer

Beth Keys manages financial planning, reporting, accounting, and tax and treasury operations. Prior to joining BAM, she was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Guy Carpenter and, before that, Senior Vice President and CFO of Syncora Holdings Ltd. At Syncora, she also served as Senior Vice President and CFO of Syncora Guarantee from 2005 to 2006, where she led the Finance function and was responsible for internal and external financial reporting and leading the annual budget and business planning process. Her earlier work experience includes financial positions with General Motors, the last of which was Controller of GMAC Commercial Finance. She has a B.S. in accounting from Boston College’s Wallace E. Carroll School of Management and a M.B.A. from M.I.T.’s Alfred P. Sloan School of Management.

Laura Levenstein

Chief Risk Officer

As Head of Risk Management, Laura Levenstein has responsibility for BAM’s risk management strategy and its oversight, including acting as chair of the Enterprise Risk Committee. Laura also serves on the Management, Underwriting and Credit Policy and Surveillance Committees. Before joining BAM, she was Senior Managing Director for Global Public, Project and Infrastructure Finance, which includes US public finance, global sub-sovereign, sovereign, project and infrastructure finance, at Moody’s Investors Service. In that position, as part of the evaluation of the various rated entities, she was responsible for evaluating all types of risk in these sectors to the extent it could impact the entities’ credit profiles. Laura was also responsible for managing all aspects of the rating business relevant to those sectors including, rating assignment, rating methodologies, process operations, strategy, financial performance, rating quality and reputational risks. Prior positions in her over 20-year career at Moody’s included Senior Managing Director for Americas and Global Financial Institutions. Laura holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Cornell University.

Alex Makowski

Deputy General Counsel

Alex Makowski joined BAM in 2012 as its first General Counsel, and oversaw legal and regulatory affairs and related corporate projects. Prior to joining BAM, he was a Managing Director at Financial Security Assurance (FSA) and later worked for Assured Guaranty, which acquired FSA in July 2009. At FSA and Assured, he played a major role in the workout of troubled municipal, international and asset-backed credits. Prior to joining FSA in 1995, he spent five years at The First Boston Corporation, where he was a Director focusing on corporate real estate. He began his legal career as an Associate in Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s corporate law department. Alex has a B. Sc. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a J.D. from Harvard University, where he was an Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

David W. McIntyre, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer

David McIntyre leads systems development and internet technology functions at BAM. Prior to joining the company, he served as Managing Director and Global Head of Development Standards and Control at BlackRock from 2007 through 2011 and, previously, from 1997 through 2003. Before returning to BlackRock, he served as Chief Technology Officer of Data Oxygen, a subsidiary of Orbis Financial. Prior to that, he was a Director at Credit Suisse and Iris Financial Engineering. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a B.A. in Computer Science/Physics from Drew University.

Michael J. Moriarty

Head of Regulatory Oversight and Compliance

Michael Moriarty is responsible for BAM’s regulatory oversight and compliance. Prior to joining BAM, he was a Managing Director at the Promontory Financial Group, where he assisted clients in insurance and reinsurance matters from both a regulatory and financial perspective. Before that he was the Deputy Superintendent of Property and Capital Markets for the New York State Insurance Department, which he served for more than 30 years in a number of senior positions. Additionally, he is certified as an Associate in Reinsurance and an Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance by the Insurance Institute of America and as an Insurance Examiner by the Insurance Regulatory Examiners Society. He holds a B.S. degree from Queens College, CUNY, where he majored in Accounting.

Scott C. Richbourg

Head of Public Finance

Scott Richbourg manages the Public Finance Department. Prior to joining BAM, he was Executive Director and Manager of the Southern Group for Public Finance at Morgan Stanley with responsibility for all municipal underwriting activity in the region. Before that, he was Managing Director of the U.S. Municipal Finance Department at FSA, which he joined in 2001. In the position, he was the head of strategic planning, business development and underwriting across all financial guaranty sectors of the municipal market, including both primary and secondary issues. Earlier, he was Vice President and Co-Head of the Infrastructure Group at Goldman Sachs and an investment banker at PaineWebber. He holds a B.A. in Economics from James Madison University.

Michael Stanton

Head of Strategy and Communications

Mike Stanton is in charge of developing strategy and directing communications. He joined BAM from SourceMedia, where he was Senior Vice President for Capital Markets, managing a group of four major publications, including The Bond Buyer, the company’s flagship municipal finance daily newspaper and website. He joined The Bond Buyer as a reporter in 1995 and served in multiple positions with the newspaper and its parent, including Editor-in-Chief and Publisher. He is a graduate of Columbia University and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Michael Weinstein

Head of Surveillance

Michael Weinstein manages municipal surveillance, including systems design and data acquisition to facilitate the credit and surveillance functions. He joined BAM at its inception in July 2012 as a Vice President in Municipal Surveillance. Before joining BAM, he was an equity analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets. Previously to that, he was an Assistant Vice President at Financial Security Assurance (FSA) and later Assured Guaranty (which acquired FSA in July 2009). Michael holds an B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A. with Distinction from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Scott C. Richbourg

Head of Public Finance

Scott Richbourg manages the Public Finance Department. Prior to joining BAM, he was Executive Director and Manager of the Southern Group for Public Finance at Morgan Stanley with responsibility for all municipal underwriting activity in the region. Before that, he was Managing Director of the U.S. Municipal Finance Department at FSA, which he joined in 2001. In the position, he was the head of strategic planning, business development and underwriting across all financial guaranty sectors of the municipal market, including both primary and secondary issues. Earlier, he was Vice President and Co-Head of the Infrastructure Group at Goldman Sachs and an investment banker at PaineWebber. He holds a B.A. in Economics from James Madison University.

Juliet Stiehl

Managing Vice President and Head of Public Finance, East Region

Juliet Stiehl manages the Eastern Region for BAM’s public finance group and is based in the New York office. She joined BAM from Assured Guaranty in 2012, where she was a Vice President in Public Finance Group. She joined Assured Guaranty after it acquired FSA, where she was an Assistant Vice President and credit analyst, evaluating municipal sectors within the Northeast. She holds an B.A. in Government from Harvard University.

Todd E. Tomich

Managing Vice President and Head of West Region

Todd Tomich manages the 18-state Western Region for BAM’s public finance group and is based in the Santa Monica office. He joined BAM from Assured Guaranty, where he was a Vice President in the International Infrastructure and Public Finance Group, underwriting transactions that included P3s, utilities, airports and toll roads. Prior to that he held similar positions with FSA, which he joined in 2004 as an Associate. Before joining FSA, Todd served as an aide to US Senator Jon Corzine of New Jersey and held credit analyst positions with The Alison Company in Newport Beach, California and Merrill Lynch’s private client group in New Haven, Connecticut. Todd graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics.

Bryan Baebler

Managing Vice President, Head of Primary and Secondary Markets

Bryan Baebler is responsible for BAM’s capital markets pricing desk and primary and secondary markets business. He joined BAM in April 2013 from Barclays, where he was a Vice President on the Municipal Primary Syndicate Desk for three years. Prior to that, he was a Short-Term Municipal Securities Trader at Barclays/Lehman Brothers and before that a Municipal Securities Trader in the Fixed Income Group at Vanguard Group. Bryan earned his B.S. in Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Mark Capell

Managing Vice President, Public Finance, West Region

Mark Capell is a senior underwriter at BAM, covering the Western Region. Prior to joining BAM, he was a Director of Assured Guaranty, Western States, and, prior to that, he held a similar position at FSA. Earlier, he was a Director a Fitch Ratings 1998 through 2004. He holds a B.A. from U.C. Davis and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Jill Greiss

Senior Counsel

Jill is a senior member of BAM’s legal team. She joined BAM from FGIC, where she was Director and Senior Counsel. Prior to joining FGIC in 2004, she served as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at AMBAC and, prior to that was a Partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where she was a counsel to sponsors and advisors of unit investment trusts and mutual funds and a bond counsel and underwriters’ counsel in municipal transactions. Earlier she was an attorney at Hawkins, Delafield & Wood and an Assistant Counsel at The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. She got her undergraduate degree at Georgetown University and J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Hans Hanf

Head of Municipal Market Relations

Hans Hanf manages BAM’s competitive bid and secondary market desks. He joined BAM from Chapdelaine & Co., where he was Manager of Municipal Business Development. Prior to joining Chapdelaine in 2003, he was Vice President of the Bond Market Association, directing its regional dealer program. Before that, he served as Senior Vice President of The GMS Group, Inc., where he facilitated tax exempt and taxable trades. In an earlier position, he managed high yield and taxable municipals at Prudential Securities. He is a former board member of the Bond Club of New York. He graduated from Rutgers University, School of Business with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Greg Pacifico

Vice President, Public Finance, East Region

Greg Pacifico is a senior underwriter in BAM’s Eastern Regional Group. He joined BAM in 2012 from Assured Guaranty, where he was an analyst in the Public Finance Group. He is a graduate of New York University with a B.A. in Economics.

Alexis Platis

Vice President, Public Finance, East Region

Alexis Platis is a senior underwriter in BAM’s Eastern Regional Group. She joined BAM in 2012 from Assured Guaranty, where she was an assistant vice president in public finance, and began her career in the municipal bond insurance industry at CIFG. She is a graduate of Vassar College and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University.

Les Richmond

Vice President and Actuary

Les Richmond’s role in our credit underwriting group is to evaluate the pension plans and liabilities of the municipal entities BAM guarantees. Prior to joining BAM, he was with Hay Group, where he was a Senior Principal and recently the Project Leader of a four-year engagement to audit the five New York City Retirement Systems. He also conducted special pension studies for the New York City Office of the Comptroller. Prior to that, he was a Senior Vice President of Aon Consulting, which he joined in 1986, with responsibility for providing actuarial consulting on post-retirement health and life insurance benefits and pensions. He is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries and an Enrolled Actuary. He is also a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, Fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries and a member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries. He holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Rutgers College.

Jill Schmidt

Vice President, Public Finance, East Region

Jill Schmidt is a senior underwriter in BAM’s Eastern Regional Group. She joins BAM from Assured Guaranty, where she was a Vice President in Public Finance. Prior to joining Assured Guaranty in June of 2010, she was a Director in the Global Power Group at Fitch Ratings. Before that, she spent five years at FGIC, where she was a Vice President, Surveillance and prior to that, she was a research analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. She is a graduate of Clarkson University and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Baruch College. She is a member of the Municipal Analysts Group of New York, the National Federation of Municipal Analysts and Women in Public Finance.

Shelby Schwabauer

Vice President, Public Finance, West Region

Shelby Schwabauer is a senior underwriter at BAM, covering the Western region. Prior to joining BAM, Shelby was an Analyst in the U.S. Public Finance Group at Moody’s Investors Service. Prior to Moody’s, Shelby held several private wealth management positions at UBS and Fisher Investments. She has a B.S. in Business Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Brian Siper

Associate Counsel

Brian Siper joined BAM from Assured Guaranty, where he held a series of positions, including Counsel in the Public Finance area. Prior to that, Brian was Senior Counsel and Director of Public Finance and Project Finance North America at Financial Guaranty Insurance Company, and before that an Associate at King & Spalding LLP. He earned a B.A. from Binghamton University and a J.D. from the Albany Law School of Union University.

Scott Sollers

Managing Vice President

Scott Sollers is based in the San Francisco office. A veteran municipal bond investment banker, he was previously a managing director at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. He was Chairman of Stone & Youngberg, the largest California-based underwriter of municipal bonds, prior to that firm’s acquisition by Stifel in 2011. He is also a former Chairman of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.

Howard Spumberg

Managing Vice President, Public Finance, East Region

Howard Spumberg is a senior underwriter in BAM’s Eastern Regional Group. He comes to BAM from Assured Guaranty, where he was a Director in the Public Finance Group, and, prior to that, held the same position at FSA. Prior to joining FSA in 1998, he was Associate Director of Public Finance Ratings for S&P, where he recommended ratings for a wide variety of tax-backed and revenue supported debt obligations. Earlier, he was a Municipal Bond Evaluator and Research Analyst at J.J. Kenny Co., Inc. He has a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University and an MBA in Finance from Fordham University.

Alexander Vaisman

Vice President, Public Finance, West Region

Alexander Vaisman is a senior underwriter in the Public Finance Underwriting Group and covers the Western Region. Prior to joining BAM, he was an Associate Director in the U.S. Public Finance Group at Fitch Ratings. Alexander is a graduate of Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.