Morgan Keegan holds on to top spot

by Wally Northway

Published: February 15,2010

Tags: investing, municipal bonds

MEMPHIS — Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. was the eighth leading underwriter of municipal bonds in the country for 2009, serving as book running manager on 578 issues with a par amount of $12.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

The firm was the 10th leading underwriter in 2008.

Morgan Keegan was also the leading underwriter in the nation in terms of number of issues of Build America Bonds (BABs), a new category of bonds created by the Stimulus Act in 2009. The firm served as senior manager on 85 issues with a par amount of $2.5 billion. BABs are taxable bonds that help broaden the market for municipal debt and provide a more efficient subsidy, rather than tax-exempt debt, to governmental capital investment. Additionally, as underwriter of BABs competitive issues, the firm was number one nationally on 72 issues with a par amount of $1.6 billion.

Regionally, for the 17th consecutive year, Morgan Keegan dominated municipal bond underwriting in the South Central U.S. in 2009. The six-state region includes Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Serving as senior manager on 232 issues with a par value of $4.9 billion, the firm captured a 22.7 percent market share.

Morgan Keegan was also the leading municipal bond underwriter, in terms of number of transactions, in the 10-state Southeast region of the country that includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The firm senior managed 307 issues with a par value of $7.6 billion, capturing a 10.5 percent market share in 2009 compared to 9.2 percent in 2008.

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