Re-Entering The Public Finance Industry: The Right Executive Summary

If you are re-entering the public finance industry, you must create the right executive summary that fits your future career path.

As many of my readers are aware, I look at trends that are occurring in the field of public finance and bond counsel recruiting. This current trend that I am seeing is not as applicable to the bond counsel world but is most definitely applicable to the world of public finance. There appears to be an immediate desire to re-join the industry after an absence of at least a couple of years. In the last month or so I have seen an increase in the number of calls of past bankers and/or past salespeople. They have reevaluated their priorities and decided it is time to come back to our cottage industry. If you find yourself in this position, here are some basics about potential reentry paths and your executive summary. 

An Executive Summary That Gets You Back In The Game

This does present a dilemma to an executive recruiter that has clients looking for a specific need for employees to have existing clients/issuers and/or account books of businesses that can be immediately converted into revenue.  When I look at my current clientele, I have firms that are willing to look at previous successful bankers and/or salespeople. However, I have other firms that are not interested at all hearing about these past employees. I must be able to show the past performance. In this case it is a direct indicator about what future performance could yield. The tool I have chosen to use is the executive summary. Unlike traditional executive summaries found usually in a business plan or a capital raise document, the summary I ask of my candidates demonstrates their immediate ability to “get back in the game” and be able to substantiate the revenue that they will be able to generate. By producing this type of executive summary, I can show one of my existing clients what somebody can do or cannot do.

Paths For Public Finance Bankers Vs. Municipal Advisors 

Let us address first the public finance bankers/municipal advisors. I have found that it is much easier to bring an individual back as an advisor rather than as a banker. The apparent reason is an advisor can immediately start generating retainer revenue from their wealth of contacts they may have had in the past. Past contacts that are willing to give them the opportunity to work with them again. Since most banking opportunities revolve around the issuance of municipal bonds, it is much more unlikely a past member of our industry will be able to jump in and get immediate bond issues sold; thus, generating revenue. Yet, a municipal advisor can certainly (within the first three months) be able to bring in new revenue to a firm. When I have a banker reaching out to me, I always talk to them about their ability or desire to become a municipal advisor; thus, parlaying their contacts into revenue. The executive summary for this type of candidate to formulate must demonstrate how they would be able to convince issuers that they worked within the past to work with them currently in an advisory role. Not only must they demonstrate how, but they also need to be able to quantify what that would look like within an 18-to-24-month period.  They also need to show that the reason they left the industry is no longer prevalent, and their desire is to become an individual who would retire from the firms I am introducing them to.

Future For The Institutional Salesperson

The executive summary for an institutional salesperson is slightly different. They are going to have to show that their previous accounts are not being covered at the present firm they are engaging with, and that the firm qualifies to open new accounts with their past clients. They are also going to have to show their expertise in their specific sector, and they have buyers that will trade with them on a regular basis. Within the summary, they will have to demonstrate if their buyers are Tier 2 or hopefully Tier 3 accounts.  In addition, they will have to show past performance per account holder over the last three to five years at a minimum. The salesperson must be able to demonstrate that their contacts are not stale. I also recommend before anybody partakes in creating the summary that they reach out to all their past contacts to find out how likely it is they can resume selling to them.

Evaluating Your Circumstances & Your Executive Summary

Hopefully, you can see there is a door (or maybe I should say a window) of opportunity to reenter the industry. It is not a given. One or two things may happen when you start working on this executive summary. The first is that you will be able to demonstrate everything that is needed to be able to reenter the field. On the converse, you may find out that entering the field again was just a dream and not realistic. Either one of these are OK as now you are in a much better position to evaluate your current circumstances.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting”.

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.