In the News: Recent Developments

About Saber Partners, LLC

Tested and Trusted for More Than Twenty Years

20th Anniversary Year
August 2000-2020

Our senior management and advisors have decades of experience crafting creative solutions for clients. We pride ourselves on our independence and reputation for innovation, integrity and excellence. The Saber team has billions of dollars in transaction experience across all segments of the financial markets – domestic and international, debt and equity, corporate finance and structured finance.

From advising the SEC on the auction securities market, to uncovering the disparity in lending practices for municipal versus investor-owned utilities, to developing innovative low-cost financing for utility infrastructure and environmental projects through securitization, Saber Partners is at the forefront for increased transparency, efficiency and fairness in the market.

Recent Developments

Click here for Information on "Utility Securitization" What it is, How to Do It, Best Practices and More...

Management and Senior Advisors

Client Testimonials

  • $23 million nominal/$17 million present value savings to Texas electricity customers! That is what Citigroup concluded in their independent analysis of Saber Partners’ efforts in Texas.

    Citigroup investment bankers analyzed the first three Texas utility securitization bond offerings between 2001-03 where Saber Partners, LLC served as the Financial Advisor to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (our client).  Saber Partners was a joint-decision maker with the utility in the structure, marketing and pricing of the bonds as defined by the Public Utility Commission of Texas’ financing order.  Each bond issue’s interest rates and credit spreads to benchmark rates for each series was compared to all other similar AAA-rated investor-owned utility securitization bond offerings in other states. Texas electricity customers repay the bonds through a special charge on their monthly electric bills. The charge could last for up to 15 years.

    The Citigroup analysis focused on whether the credit spread (or the interest rate above a benchmark interest rate measured in basis points or increments of 0.001%) was higher or lower than other deals where Saber Partners and active commission oversight was not involved. The lower the spread, the more savings to Texas electricity customers.

    Citigroup’s conclusion: the three Saber Partners deals with active commission oversight and Saber Partners as a joint decision maker were consistently lower in cost especially on the longer maturities which are more expensive to ratepayers.

    Thank you, Citigroup for the analysis and for showing that hard work results in ratepayer savings!!

    Read the Citigroup email demonstrating Saber Savings in Texas Ratepayer-Backed Bond / transition Bonds

    Citigroup’s study was confirmed in 2005 by an independent study by Barclays Capital.  Bankers at Barclays examined all utility securitization / Ratepayer-Backed Bonds credit spreads to benchmark swap rates achieved by bonds offered for New Jersey utilities versus Texas utilities versus utilities in all other states.

    See the Barclays May 2005 analysis here on pages 24-25. Used with permission for development of Saber Partners business and franchise.

    Citigroup Says Saber Partners Saved Texas Electricity Customers $23 Million Nominal/$17 Million Present Value

    September 19, 2003

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  • “He gave us the best chance of getting the lowest cost, and ended up saving ratepayers millions of dollars.”

    Jon McKinney

    Former Chairman West Virginia Public Service Commission
    Quoted in Bloomberg NewsMay 30, 2008

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  • Florida PSC Letter of Reference 2018

    Florida Public Service Commission

    Detailed Description of Saber Partners' Performance in a $1.294 billion Long Duration Investor-Owned Utility Securitization
    Florida Public Service CommissionJune, 2018

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  • “Saber Partners has served the Commission effectively as an advocate of the Commission’s interests and in protecting ratepayer interests in connection with all five prior series of transition bonds issued … and in ensuring that the structuring and pricing of each of those series of transition bonds achieved the lowest transition bond charges consistent with market conditions and the applicable financing orders”

    Lane Langford

    Executive Director, Public Utility Commission of Texas, 2006
    Excerpt from Saber Partners’ contract with the Public Utility Commission of TexasJune 1, 2006

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  • “But the OPC saved its best thanks for the Commission’s advisor, Saber Partners and especially Joe Fichera, … who brought impressive expertise, experience, and discipline to the transaction and, without question, were instrumental in saving many millions of dollars for the customers in current and future costs through their dogged and expert advocacy to achieve the optimum lowest cost for customers at the outset.”

    Charles Rehwinkel

    Deputy Public Counsel, State of Florida
    Quoted from Transcript of Florida Public Service Commission Public MeetingJune 16, 2016

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  • “..we would have not had this result, though, without the tireless efforts of our financial consultants, Saber Partners and Joe Fichera in particular, and our outside counsel, Dean Criddle of Orrick Herrington.”

    [Also See Video]

    Andrew L. Maurey

    Director of Finance & Accounting, Florida Public Service Commission
    Quoted from Transcript of Florida Public Service Commission Public MeetingJune 16, 2016

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  • “Mr. Fichera is right. At this intersection of two huge and extremely opaque arenas – the municipal debt market and derivatives trading – sunlight is sorely needed”

    Gretchen Morgenson, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist

    The New York TimesMarch 5, 2010

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  • “Saber’s work was timely, thorough, on point and indeed crucial… I especially appreciated the fact that you and your team were always available… and always right there with thoughtful and incisive analysis, responses and comments.”

    Mark J. Bennett

    Attorney General, State of Hawaii
    Letter of Reference 2010

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  • “Saber’s track record …impressed us and was solid evidence that Saber’s activist approach is effective in protecting ratepayer interests.”

    Richard Hitt

    General Counsel, West Virginia Public Service Commission
    Quoted in BusinessWire, February 8, 2006

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  • “Tennenbaum is a rare breed on the buy side: a true expert on the industries he follows… Equally impressive to his counterparts on Wall Street is his extraordinary ability to retain the information he gathers.”

    Institutional Investor Magazine

    "Best of the Buy-Side"

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  • “I unequivocally recommend Mr. Fichera and Saber Partners to any issuer interested in truly independent, sophisticated analysis and advice concerning the capital markets. Their personnel and services are unique and set them apart from other advisers I have seen.”

    David D. Brown IV

    Executive Director, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York
    Letter of Recommendation 2010

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  • “Joe doesn’t accept the idea that because we’ve done something this way in the past, we’ve got to continue doing it that way… He’s constantly pushing and prodding to do things better.”

    Robert Reger

    Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
    Quoted in Bloomberg NewsMay 30, 2008

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  • “His attention to detail and state-of-the-art skills have helped us in many ways over the years”

    Brian Maher

    Assistant Treasurer, ExxonMobil Corporation
    Quoted in The Bond BuyerNovember 9, 2000

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  • “…One of the most well-connected energy advisors on Wall Street…”

    Steve Maviglio

    Office of the Governor, California
    Quoted in The San Francisco ChronicleJanuary 4, 2002

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  • “Saber Partners has the technical expertise, depth of experience, integrity and freedom from potential conflicts of interest that the Commission needs to oversee these financings…”

    Richard Hitt

    General Counsel of the West Virginia, Pubic Service Commission
    BusinesswireFebruary 11, 2006

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  • “Saber has a proven track record of successful innovation in structuring and marketing variable rate securities.”

    Gary Breaux

    Director of Finance, East Bay Municipal Utility District
    Quoted in Bloomberg NewsDecember 11, 2008

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  • “There is a culture of inertia in the municipal market, where borrowers rely on long-standing relationships with bankers and turn to them for guidance and expertise…Fichera is a beacon of light in trying to add transparency.”

    Mitchell Moss

    Professor of Urban Policy and planning, New York University
    Quoted in Bloomberg NewsMay 30, 2008

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  • Broadcast Media and Videos

    • Florida Ratepayers, Regulators Speak on Saber Part...16 Jun, 2016
    • National Italian American Foundation Biography of ...12 Jul, 2018
    • NIAF Honoree Joseph Fichera Accepts and Gives Than...20 May, 2019
    View More Videos