“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”
“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.”
“..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.”
“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”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“…One of the most well-connected energy advisors on Wall Street…”
“His attention to detail and state-of-the-art skills have helped us in many ways over the years”
“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…”
“Saber’s track record …impressed us and was solid evidence that Saber’s activist approach is effective in protecting ratepayer interests.”
“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.”
“Saber has a proven track record of successful innovation in structuring and marketing variable rate securities.”
“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.”
$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!!
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.