President Preckwinkle Creates Bond Team with Focus on Local, Minority Firms

Chicago, IL, July 14, 2011 --( Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle submitted the County’s Master Bond Ordinance yesterday as the government takes steps to restructure its debt and establish itself on a more sound financial footing. The ordinance was introduced and referred to the Finance Committee.

“Government at every level faces significant economic hardship,” President Preckwinkle said. “This will aid our efforts in fostering fiscal stability and changing the culture of financial management in Cook County government.”

The master bond ordinance creates a bond team tasked with structuring and executing the Cook County general obligation bond issuances, as well as advising the County on the financial, legal, and tax-specific implications of different transaction structures. The team is overwhelmingly comprised of local businesses such as William Blair & Company, Cabrera Capital Markets, Mesirow Financial, and Loop Capital Markets demonstrating the President’s commitment to these critical institutions.

“In these difficult economic times, I believe it’s important to invest in local businesses and financiers to create jobs and generate revenue right here in Cook County,” President Preckwinkle added. “We are pleased that we were able to find a team on the local level experienced and talented enough to manage a deal of this size, significance, and complexity. We look forward to the Board of Commissioners’ anticipated approval of this team, so that they can get to work right away.”

The bond team also boasts significant participation from minority and women owned businesses – the co-senior manager, half of the co-managers, the co-bond counsel, financial advisors, and co-underwriters council are all minority or women owned firms.

“This is another example of our commitment to ensuring that the County’s financial and contractual partners represent the tremendous diversity of our County’s residents,” President Preckwinkle said.

The ordinance grants general authority to the County for the issuance of general obligation bonds for, among other things, the restructuring of outstanding County debt obligations and the funding of County self-insurance obligations. The debt restructuring bond issuance authority is limited to $425 million and the underlying transaction is expected to produce approximately $85,000,000 in debt service levy savings in 2011 and similar savings in 2012 and 2013, including providing for an additional self- insurance reserve capacity in an amount of $45,000,000.

Consistent with the President’s prior policy statements, the ordinance requires that no bonds for new projects can be issued before July 1, 2012 and any new projects must be approved by the Board before new bonds can be issued.

The following is a complete list of the bond team:

Capacity Party or Parties

Senior Manager William Blair & Company, L.L.C.
Co-Senior Manager Cabrera Capital Markets, LLC
Co-Manager BMO Capital Markets
Goldman Sachs
Mesirow Financial
Loop Capital
Melvin & Company
Podesta & Co.

Bond Counsel Chapman and Cutler LLP
Co-Bond Counsel Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP

Financial Advisors A.C. Advisory, Inc.

Underwriters’ Counsel Ungaretti & Harris LLP
Co-Underwriters' Counsel Charity & Associates PC

Cook County Government
Sebastian James