City firm chosen to manage bonds for Prince George's

September 21, 1990|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Evening Sun Staff

The Chapman Co., a Baltimore investment banking firm, has been selected as one of two senior managers of a $30 million revenue bond issue by the Prince George's County government.

The company also announced that it has strengthened its public finance operation by hiring Paul M. Heid, the former head of the public financial department at Ferris Baker Watts Inc., a Washington-based investment banking firm.

Nathan A. Chapman Jr., the chairman and chief executive officer of the firm that bears his name, said the award by Prince George's County is the largest such offer to a minority firm in Maryland. The firm is also the only Maryland company that will manage the offering, he said. The other senior manager in the deal is Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. Inc. of New York.

Chapman praised Parris Glendening, the Prince George's County executive, for "opening the door" for minority firms to participate in county contracts.

Managers of bond offerings are responsible for structuring the transaction and selling the bonds.

Chapman said he wants to sell more of the tax-exempt bonds to individuals, rather than to institutional investors. To do so, he said his firm will be offering the bonds in $5,000 denominations and advertising in daily and weekly newspapers and on radio.

The $30 million offering is the first of a series of bond sales that will total at least $70 million, according to Eric M. Tucker, director of finance for Prince George's County.

He said the likelihood of Chapman being involved in the future offerings is "very strong."

The money will be spent on a variety of waste disposal projects for the county's Solid Waste Management System, Tucker said.

The Chapman Co. has branch offices in Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Birmingham. It is in the top third of investment banking firms in its participation in public finance in terms of the number of deals and the dollar amount, Chapman said.

Founded in December 1986, the firm has 40 employees.

Heid's presence is intended to boost the public finance division, Chapman said. "It will give us an additional layer of financial talent," he said. Heid has been involved in some of the largest public financing deals in Maryland, he said. "It gives additional credibility to our firm," Chapman said.

"I've been looking for a new challenge," Heid said, noting Chapman's national outreach. "We want it to be a national investment firm."

Heid joined the Baltimore firm of Baker, Watts & Co. in June 1988, before the firm merged with Ferris & Co. of Washington in early 1989. Before that, he worked for the investment banking firm of Wertheim, Schroeder & Co. in New York. From 1971 to 1978, he was the director of finance for the Maryland Department of Transportation.

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