Plans set for 10th annual Massachusetts Investor Conference

BY SourceMedia | MUNICIPAL | 09/30/22 10:09 AM EDT By Thomas Nocera

Massachusetts will hold its 10th annual Investor Conference on Oct. 20 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Organized by the Office of State Treasurer, the event will feature three panel discussions with municipal finance leaders from the public and private sectors on a range of trending topics.

Sue Perez, Massachusetts' deputy treasurer of debt management, will kick off the day with comments at 9 a.m., followed by the first panel, 'Building Bridges ? Community Development in Massachusetts,' which will discuss the partnership between state and municipal officials in delivering several community-level programs that invest "millions to help boost local economies, accelerate housing production, spurs private development and creates jobs," according to the conference's agenda.

Michael Heffernan, secretary of administration and finance for Gov. Charlie Baker, will moderate the conversation between Ashley Stolba, undersecretary of community development, Sean Cronin, senior deputy commissioner for local services, and Mike Kenneally, housing & economic development secretary.

The second panel, 'Another Brick in the Wall - Educating in the Commonwealth,' will cover public funding behind "the design and construction of educationally appropriate, flexible, sustainable, and cost-effective public school facilities," according to the agenda.

The discussion will be moderated by James MacDonald, first deputy treasurer & CEO of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which helps finance school construction statewide. MacDonald was appointed to the position by Treasurer Deborah Goldberg in 2017 after a forty-year career in the treasurer's office.

Participating on the panel will be Mary Pichetti, the authority's director of capital planning, James Peyser, state secretary of education, and Rosalin Acosta, secretary of labor and workforce development.

The final panel will take a look at an area of public finance Massachusetts has championed recently, with a discussion of ESG-related investments. In August the state priced $2.7 billion of taxable business-tax backed special obligation revenue bonds in an ESG bond deal that would be the largest to ever post in municipal markets.

Kathy Bramlage, senior debt analyst at the treasurer's office, will moderate a panel of private sector experts from different vantage points made up of Poonam Patidar, a member at bond counsel firm Mintz Levin; Zach Solomon, executive director and head of tax-exempt project finance & sustainable infrastructure at Morgan Stanley (MS); and a still-to-be named ESG impact investor.

Following the panel will be remarks from Goldberg and closing the event will be a keynote address from Christopher Foote, senior economist and policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Foote's research expertise lies in housing and labor market macroeconomics and his decades-long career includes time spent time in advising the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003 and 2004.

Admission is free for investors and prospective investors, who can register here. The fee is $100 for public finance, legal, and financial advisors, who can register for tickets here.

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.