Oppenheimer & Co is to acquire San Francisco-based Brandis Tallman, an investment bank specialising in the underwriting and placement of municipal debt for California issuers. Completion of the transaction is subject to pending regulatory review and approvals.
Seasoned California public finance experts and Brandis Tallman co-founders Rick Brandis and Nicki Tallman together have more than 60 years of municipal finance experience. They are joining Oppenheimer as Managing Directors, continuing to lead their existing team out of San Francisco and Los Angeles, which will operate as a division of Oppenheimer under the Brandis Tallman brand. Brandis and Tallman will both report to Oppenheimer’s Head of Public Finance Investment Banking, Bill Reisner.
Reisner says: “In this current economic environment, issuers are increasingly looking for executable solutions to the fiscal challenges brought about by the economic shutdown. We have been developing a team of senior bankers with strong credit expertise and deep sector knowledge, and we expect that issuers will increasingly demand high caliber coverage from their investment bankers. We have also seen a growing number of deals done on a private placement basis, which insulates the issuers from the vagaries of market volatility. With our new Brandis Tallman division, Oppenheimer is well-positioned to capture significant opportunities driven by both of these trends.”
Brandis and Tallman founded Brandis Tallman in 2002. Since then, the team has underwritten and privately placed billions in municipal bonds on behalf of cities, counties, special districts, and school districts in California. Since 2016, Brandis Tallman has closed 242 municipal bond transactions as sole manager or private placement agent.
The combination of Brandis Tallman and Oppenheimer’s existing Public Finance efforts will make Oppenheimer one of the top underwriters and private placement agents of California municipal bonds. Going forward, Brandis Tallman will have access to the full resources and scale of Oppenheimer to enhance its services and capabilities, including a deep bench underwriting, placement, debt structuring, research, and trading and sales personnel focused exclusively on the municipal capital markets.
Brandis and Tallman say: “The California municipal bond market is highly complex, but also presents exceptional growth opportunities for underwriters that combine an established network of relationships and a proven track record for successful execution with national resources and capabilities. As a division of Oppenheimer, Brandis Tallman will optimise its relationships and expertise as a top California municipal bond underwriter, while preserving our brand, our leadership and all the other elements of our team that have driven our success over the years. We look forward to serving our issuers through even larger underwritings and more robust services with the backing of Oppenheimer.”
“I am delighted that Rick, Nicki and their team have joined Oppenheimer,” says Robert Lowenthal, Senior Managing Director and Head of US Investment Banking. “This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to grow our presence in the California municipal bond market and stand out as a national leader in public finance.”