The Smartest Guy in the Room (Financial Services Company of the Year) - Page 3 of 6

The Smartest Guy in the Room (Financial Services Company of the Year)

Bernard Beal

Just as Beal outlined in his business plan many years ago, M.R. Beal & Co. has three core businesses:

  • Broker-dealer for investors who want to buy or sell stocks or bonds
  • Assist corporations in issuing stock and in borrowing money when it structures corporate bond issues
  • Municipal bond underwriting

M.R. Beal is most widely known for its third line of business. “Municipal bonds are really borrowings done by state and local governments,” explains Beal. “Say the City of New York needs to borrow $640 million for upgrades to the water system, they would come to M.R. Beal & Co., and we would arrange for that loan. We would find investors who are willing to lend the city the $640 million and we’d go out to each of those investors and we’d negotiate rates and terms that they were willing to make the loan for. We would negotiate with the City of New York so that they could borrow the money, how long they were going to borrow it, and then execute the loan very much the way you go out and get a single-family mortgage for your house. That is exactly what we do and we get a very small fee for doing that.”

As Beal’s firm helps cities, counties, and states across the country borrow money to fund public works and other projects, those “small fees” add up. What sets M.R. Beal apart from the scads of other firms in the same business, says Beal, is that “we are really good at negotiating the terms of the loan. So the client gets the lowest borrowing costs.”

(Continued on next page)