Speakers to date
Venue Name: 7 World Trade Center 20th FL
Address: 250 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007
Date: November 2, 2023
Time: 08:30 – 13:00 ET
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Janice Hofferber is Head of US Public Finance for Moody’s Investors Service (MIS) overseeing ratings and research for over 12,000 State and Local Governments, Hospitals, Higher Education institutions, Charter Schools and other tax exempt obligors.
Prior to this role, Janice was a Managing Director in the North America Corporate Finance Group leading analytical teams covering over 500 investment grade and high yield issuers in the Real Estate, Consumer, Retail, Gaming, Lodging, Apparel, and Restaurant sectors since 2013. In addition, Janice is a leader in a number of company- wide initiatives including spearheading Moody’s efforts to deliver globally consistent and high quality market and customer engagements, acting as an Ambassador for Ratings and Research support to improve recruitment and training for Moody’s young credit professionals. Janice is an active supporter of Moody’s equity, diversity and inclusion efforts including serving as the co-chairperson of the Policy and Recruiting committee for the Veteran’s BRG where she helped to lead important changes to Moody’s leave policies for employees.
Janice has extensive experience working in the financial service industry. She rejoined the firm in June 2006 as the lead analyst for the US consumer products and tobacco sectors and as a rating committee chairperson for multiple industry teams. She started at Moody’s as a senior analyst covering investment-grade food and beverage issuers from 1995-1996.
Janice also bring a wealth of knowledge from other senior position held over the 20 years she worked in investment banking, fixed income and equity analytics sectors. She served in leadership positions at Fulcrum Global Partners, an independent equity research boutique, was a Director of Equity Research at Van der Moolen, the NYSE Specialist firm and served as a Vice President in the mergers and acquisitions and investment banking groups covering media and consumer products companies at JP Morgan Chase.
Janice holds a LEAD Certificate from Stanford University School of Business, an MBA in Finance from New York University, a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Anne Van Praagh is Global Head of the Public, Project & Infrastructure Finance Group for Moody’s Investors Service (MIS), overseeing credit ratings and research on public sector entities worldwide.
Prior to this role, Anne led the Sovereign Risk Group in 2021 and 2022. Anne was head of MIS Research from 2019 to early 2022, driving the content and engagement strategy for 20,000 research publications published annually. In 2016, Anne launched the Credit Strategy & Research group, setting Moody’s macroeconomic and “house views” on emerging risk trends and coordinating Moody’s credit response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Previously she held roles as MD for Sovereign Risk in the Americas, Middle East and APAC, Chief Credit Officer for Public Sector Ratings, and lead analyst for US infrastructure, states and local governments. She also spent three years as vice president in Morgan Stanley’s public finance investment banking team advising on $25 billion in financings.
Anne began her career as a speechwriter at the US Department of Defense in the Clinton Administration. She has a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a Bachelor’s degree from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She is married with two daughters.
Tim Blake is a Managing Director in Moody’s Public Finance Group responsible for US state ratings as well as local government ratings in the Eastern region. He also oversees ratings for US transit systems and a specialist team on government pension analysis. Tim has thirty years of experience in the municipal market.
Prior to joining Moody’s, Tim was a credit risk manager and ratings advisor at Goldman Sachs, and a credit and liquidity facility specialist at NatWest Markets.
He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany.
Susan Fitzgerald is a Managing Director in Moody’s Investors Service Public Finance Group, overseeing the healthcare, higher education, housing and municipal supported products ratings teams. Previously, she managed Moody’s global higher education and nonprofit team, covering over 700 colleges, universities, and nonprofit institutions worldwide. She has also been involved in various initiatives related to ESG analysis, charter schools, and public-private partnerships.
Susan’s other prior work experience includes managing the financial advisory practice at a boutique investment banking and advisory firm; serving as commercial credit analyst for a community bank; owning and operating an art gallery and a bed and breakfast; and as the assistant director of development, focused on foundation and corporate relations, for a graduate school.
Susan holds a Master’s degree in International Studies (European Studies and Economics) from The Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. Her A.B. degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs, with a minor in Economics, is from Occidental College, Los Angeles.
Nick Samuels is a Senior Vice President for the States and High Profile Ratings Team covering credits for the state of Texas, New York City, and the District of Columbia.
Prior to joining Moody’s, Nick worked for the National Association of State Budget Officers analyzing state fiscal and expenditure trends. Nick holds a BA degree in government from Skidmore College and a Master’s in Public Administration from the George Washington University.
William (Bill) Foster is a Senior Vice President in Moody’s Sovereign Risk Group in New York, where he currently serves as lead analyst on a portfolio of sovereign and supranational credits that include: the United States, Canada, Chile, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Honduras and the World Bank (IBRD and IDA). He previously served as lead analyst for India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan. Bill is global head of Moody’s Sovereign and Sub-Sovereign Cyber Risk Working Group and lead sovereign representative to Moody’s Global Cyber Risk Working Group. He also serves as co-host of Moody’s Talks – The Big Picture podcast series.
Bill joined Moody’s in August 2016, following 10 years at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He most recently served as Senior Advisor for International Financial Markets based in New York, where he was the Office of International Affairs’ first dedicated liaison to New York’s international financial community. From August 2012 to March 2015, he served as U.S. Financial Attaché to India at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. Bill joined Treasury’s Office of International Affairs as an international economist in 2006 and covered a wide range of geographies during his tenure, including Latin America, South and East Asia. Prior to joining Treasury, he worked as a management consultant at Accenture.
Bill holds a Master of International Affairs degree in International Financial and Economic Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and a BA from Wesleyan University. He is a member of The Economic Club of New York, and has served as an Industry Advisory Board Member of Columbia Business School’s India Business Initiative and a member of SIPA’s Alumni Careers Advisory Committee.
Atsi Sheth is Managing Director and Global Head, Credit Strategy and Research.
Moody’s Credit Strategy & Research group includes global teams focused on Macroeconomic Research, Default & Ratings Analytics and Global Emerging Markets as well as regional credit strategy teams each focused on Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and EMEA.
Together these teams establish and articulate Moody’s house views on the trends that drive risk across countries, sectors and asset classes. They undertake in depth data driven analysis and leverage the expertise of ratings and research analysts across Moody’s to generate global, regional and sector insights on macro-economic, political, policy, technology and environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks.
In her capacity leading the group, Atsi also serves as a spokesperson on Moody’s analytic views, engaging with investors, the media and a wide range of public and private sector stakeholders.
Atsi is a long-time champion of Moody’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) as well as our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. She serves as co-chair of the CSR Thought Leadership & Solutions working group and the Senior Advisor to Moody’s Asian Leadership Initiative - a Multicultural Business Resource Group.
Prior to her current role, Atsi was Moody’s Chief Credit Officer for the Americas and before that Managing Director in Moody’s Sovereign Risk Group. She has also served as Chief Economist at Reliance Capital and taught courses on International Political Economy and Emerging Markets at Columbia University and Northwestern University. Atsi has a PhD from Northwestern University and a B.A. from Bombay University.
Denise Rappmund is a Vice President/Senior Analyst on the States Rating Team, currently covering several state governments, mass transits and state-sponsored property insurance issuers, including Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, West Virginia, North Carolina, MBTA and DART. Prior to joining the States Team, Denise was a lead analyst on the Southwest Local Government team, and covered Texas, Colorado and Kansas, during which time she was the state lead for Kansas, lead for the City of Dallas, and headed up the team’s Colorado metropolitan district sector.
Prior to joining Moody’s in 2014, Denise was a public finance investment banker with Piper Jaffray in California. Over the course of her nearly two-decade career in public finance, she has developed expertise in a broad range of sectors and complex structures, spanning macro areas like international trade and the economies of the US-Mexico border, to concentrated economies in sectors like energy or tourism; as well as real estate and project-specific expertise in special district transactions covering hotels, convention centers, commercial and residential developments.
Denise holds a B.A. in economics and international affairs from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Michael Wertz is a Vice President/Senior Analyst for the Eastern Local Governments Ratings Team. His primary coverage responsibilities include cities, towns, counties, and school districts in Connecticut and Mississippi, for both of which he is the state lead, as well as New York and various water and sewer utilities throughout the Eastern United States. As a senior member of Moody’s ESG task force, Michael has published commentary on Moody’s approach to incorporating exposure to climate change in local government ratings and on the impact of drought on credit quality. He has also published research about community colleges and city pension reform.
Prior to joining Moody’s, Michael was a public sector consultant focusing on federal and local government projects. Michael holds an MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a BA in Political Science from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.
James has lead coverage responsibility for a portfolio of U.S. and Bermuda-based insurance and reinsurance companies.
Prior to joining Moody’s in 2001, James was an Associate Director at Aon Capital Markets where he was involved in the structuring and placement of catastrophe bonds, alternative risk transfer programs and contingent event capital for corporate and insurance company clients. Before to joining Aon Capital Markets, James was as an independent floor trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and a corporate legal assistant in the Asset Securitization Group at the law firm of Hunton & Williams.
James received an A.B. in History magna cum laude from Bowdoin College and an M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Lisa is a Senior Vice President in Moody’s Health Care ratings group. Her responsibilities include assigning and monitoring healthcare ratings within the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, New York, Indiana, Connecticut and Maine.
Lisa’s specializes nationally in children’s hospitals, physician practice groups and USDA-financed projects. Lisa has expertise in liquidity and debt structure analysis, including self-liquidity programs. At Moody’s, Lisa also has several years of experience as a member of the Higher Education and Other Not-For-Profits ratings group, specializing in rating higher education institutions in Ohio and Pennsylvania and cultural institutions nationally.
Lisa joined Moody’s in 1993. Previously, she worked as a credit risk manager at J.P. Morgan & Co. and as a financial analyst at The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation. Lisa holds an M.B.A., with a concentration in finance, from New York University and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Chris is a Vice President/Senior Analyst on Moody’s Global Higher Education and Nonprofit Team. He serves as lead analyst for a diverse group of higher education and nonprofit credits across the U.S., ranging from large public university systems with academic medical centers to small private colleges. Chris has written publications on a range of topics and authored the Higher Education Methodology published in August 2021. He is a member of the public-private partnership and infrastructure task forces. Before joining Moody’s, he worked for the City of New York’s Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget on a task force overseeing the Department of Education’s budget. Prior to the City of New York, Chris was a social studies teacher in Massachusetts. Chris has a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and an M.P.P. from Brown University.
Emily Mandel is an associate economist at Moody’s Analytics. She provides analysis for Colorado and Connecticut as well as several U.S. metro areas. Internationally, Emily covers the economy of Bahrain and contributes commentary on Latin America. Emily also works on state and local government fiscal issues. She received her master’s degree in international and development economics from Yale University and her bachelor’s degree in economics and international studies from Dickinson College.
Nick Lehman is a VP-Senior Analyst for the Eastern Local Governments Ratings Team covering credits in New England and New York. He joined Moody’s in 2011 and has experience in a diverse portfolio of local government and enterprise credits. Prior to joining Moody’s, Nick worked for the Kansas Development Finance Authority acting as the primary issuer for various State of Kansas credits, including state general fund, higher education, and pooled loan programs. Nick holds a BA in Economics from the University of Kansas and a MBA from Baker University.
Ferdinand Perrault is a Vice President – Senior Credit Officer in Moody’s Public Finance Housing & State Revolving Funds Team. He serves as tenured member and rating committee chair for Housing, State Revolving Funds and Infrastructure Finance credits with over 20 years of experience. He is also the lead analyst for state and local housing finance agency single and multifamily bond programs as well as for clean water and drinking water revolving funds. In addition he maintains a portfolio of project finance credits within the housing sector. He is also the surveillance coordinator, overseeing the process of ensuring timely reviews of the team’s credit portfolio.
Prior to joining Moody’s, Ferdinand was a registered analyst at Dreyfus Mutual Funds. Ferdinand received his B.A. from Baruch College.
Darrell Wheeler manages CMBS and CRE CLO research for Moody’s Investor Services. He is renowned for developing mortgage-backed securities analysis and models that provide unique fundamental credit insights.
His structured finance experience is extensive, previously managing the structured finance research of S&P Global Ratings, Citigroup Global Markets and Cantor Fitzgerald. He is a past member of CREFC’s Board of Governors and currently participates in CREFC’s editorial board. He has contributed research to numerous publications, including CREFC’s E-primer.