At Rice Financial, it is our belief, and it has been our experience, that investors build relationships and support firms that can provide both bonds and information on a consistent basis. We have been able to successfully blend our national and regional relationships with issuers and investors to become a value-added member of every financing team to which we are assigned. Rice Financial’s sales and trading representatives average 28 years* of experience and share a history working at major Wall Street firms.
Our consistent performance continues to earn the firm senior, book-running appointments in some of the nation’s most prestigious underwriting syndicates. As a senior manager, Rice routinely generates retail and priority institutional orders sufficient to place the entire transaction, distributing bonds widely among retail and institutional investors. Many of our senior managed engagements have involved delicate, in-depth interactions with the rating agencies to successfully introduce new credits or provide greater understanding of challenging credit situations. As senior manager, we cast a wide net in marketing bonds across the spectrum of investors, while tailoring coupons, amortization and redemption structures to meet or attract individual pockets of demand based on market conditions.
Rice Financial covers the largest institutional buyers in the United States. We also maintain numerous second- and third-tier client accounts, affording us a distinct niche in the marketplace in our ability to generate net designated and professional retail orders. We are actively involved in major accounts each day, often executing buy or sell programs on an exclusive basis to help investment managers meet portfolio objectives.
In response to the disappearance of retail buyers during the financial crisis of 2008, Rice Financial engaged in an intensive marketing program to reach the retail market. Our sales team targets retail investors through dozens of investment advisors, private wealth management (PWM) groups within large asset management organizations, and bank trust departments. As a group, the investment advisors and PWMs Rice Financial serves have more than 4,400 high-net-worth retail clients.
As a smaller firm, Rice Financial takes a comprehensive approach to marketing issues as a senior manager, engaging several of our senior bankers, sales and underwriting personnel throughout the entire marketing process. Unlike larger firms that may price two or three deals a day, Rice is able to dedicate the full attention of its desk and banking professionals to each of our issuers’ transactions leading up to and at the time of pricing. Rice begins premarketing an issue two to three weeks prior to the formal pricing date. The objective is to find the most aggressive buyers (retail and institutional) in every maturity range. In addition to very specific discussions with investors in the price discovery process, we involve our senior bankers in discussions with major buyers regarding the issuer’s credit profile and bonds covenants.
From the onset of each pricing, Rice strives to sell bonds across the entire range of maturities and allot bonds to as many investors as possible. As part of Rice’s approach to marketing a client’s bonds, we look to expand the issuer’s existing investor base to bring new institutional and retail buyers. Further, Rice’s philosophy in managing a transaction is to encourage participation of co-managing underwriters by enlisting their input regarding pricing (beyond merely soliciting price views) and coupon structure at all points along the yield curve. Rice engages in continuous dialogue with the managers during pricing, making the syndicate aware of maturities that are not subscribed for, and discussing specific customer interest that can be moved to those maturities.
Secondary Market Support
Secondary market trading is a priority at Rice Financial. We place no distinction between the primary market and secondary market, and call upon our capital between these two markets in a way that facilitates the underwriting and distribution of a client’s bonds in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible. The firm’s secondary market trading activities allow us to provide a source of liquidity in the secondary market for our state and local government clients as well as our institutional and retail investors. Our secondary market portfolio is liquidated and replenished frequently through the firm’s normal original issue and secondary market activities.
*Calculated by adding the total years of experience of each sales desk employee obtained from professional biographies and averaging that number.
**Source: Securities Data Company