Raymond James sets up muni bond shop in Kansas City


St. Petersburg, Florida-based Raymond James is making a move into the Kansas City region with the hiring of veteran public finance banker Greg Vahrenberg.

Vahrenberg, who started in December, most recently worked at Piper Jaffray, where he spent two decades.

Banker Greg Vahrenberg joined Raymond James in December in the firm’s first Kansas City, Missouri, office.

He was a managing director in fixed income investment banking where he worked closely with cities, counties, school districts, water districts, municipal authorities, community colleges, hospitals and state agencies as either financial advisor or underwriter.

During his tenure, the firm completed the first Qualified School Construction Bond in Kansas and the first issue under the former federal Build America Bonds program in Kansas and he helped bolster the firm’s ranking in the state.

Vahrenberg previously spent three years at Country Club Bank NA as a vice president of public finance in Kansas City and worked at Mark Twain Bank.

“Greg’s extensive and varied public finance experience … will be a tremendous advantage to our clients in need of unique and innovative financing solutions,” said Gavin Murrey, an executive vice president and head of public finance/debt investment banking.

The firm had its eye on the Kansas/Missouri market for a first-time office as part of its ongoing expansion in the Midwest and mountain states, Murrey said. The firm opened a Denver office in September and added several California offices to its existing footprint in that state during 2018.

“However, we did not want to enter this market unless we were able to hire someone who was already well established,” Murrey said. “When we learned that Greg was available, we moved very quickly to get him on board.”

Vahrenberg said was looking forward to bringing his “experience in multiple advisory and underwriting roles, with a host of municipal bond clients, to bear in this market.”

The firm would like to add several bankers to the Kansas City and in other markets to cover issuers in the region and beyond with its eye on “veteran bankers who have great client relationships and stellar reputations,” Murrey said.

The firm has about 170 public finance professionals working in 31 offices.

The firm ranked eightth nationally last year as a senior manager, credited by Thomson Reuters with 486 issues valued at $12.65 billion, and was ninth in 2017 with 620 issues valued at $14.34 billion. In the Midwest, the firm ranked 13th last year with 67 issues valued at $1.06 billion and in 2017 was ranked 18th with 56 issues valued at $877 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

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