Tamika Reed’s recent move into the world of investment banking was a natural progression from her many years working to bolster Alabama’s education system.
A lawyer with more than a decade of experience practicing in the area of education, Reed decided to chart a new path for her career while maintaining the same goal of adding to the well-being of her state.
“In the course of my work, I became very interested in working with school boards and superintendents to explore options that would help them achieve their financial objectives,” Reed explained to Yellowhammer News. “Having adequate funds for facilities will ultimately enhance the educational experience for students, teachers and support staff.”
That ability to assist in strengthening the position of Alabama’s school systems through a different means, with the same goals in mind, drew her to join The Frazer Lanier Company earlier this year.
“The opportunity to work with the professionals at Frazer Lanier seems like the perfect way to use my skill sets and experience to complement the firm’s work,” she added.
The Frazer Lanier Company is an Alabama-based investment banking firm that owns the state’s largest market share of public finance bond business, according to Thomson Reuters. The firm conducted 80 public finance bond issues during the 2020 calendar year.
The company has 15 client-facing bankers with offices in Montgomery; Florence; Birmingham; Tuscaloosa; Mobile; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Boca Raton, Florida.
A native of New Orleans, Reed has called Montgomery home for more than 16 years. In addition to her law degree, she holds a Master of Arts in Educational and Counseling Psychology. She most recently served as legal advisor to the Alabama Education Association.
At Frazer Lanier, Reed will work in all aspects of corporate and public finance.
“While working in conjunction with bankers with decades of experience, I expect to lend value that will help our clients succeed,” she said. “Given my background in working with K-12 school systems, it will be natural to work with school boards and superintendents across the state and beyond.”
Deals in public finance have a particular benefit for communities seeking to make improvements through access to the bond market.
Public entities seeking financing for capital projects may borrow money on a tax-exempt basis. They are able to gain this advantage because those projects serve a public purpose. The interest rate on a tax-exempt bond issue is typically about half the interest rate of a loan.
The buyer of a bond issue does not pay federal, state or local income tax on the interest income received. This results in a lower cost of capital.
“Public finance generates the capital needed to build everything from the Jordan-Hare stadium to public schools, county roads, city parks and all public sector developments,” outlined Reed. “Private companies serve as the contractors and vendors on these projects, employing thousands of Alabamians. When we are busy, Alabama’s citizens thrive.”
Growth in these different areas of the state can often be dependent on the ability of cities, counties or other governmental entities to borrow funds.
“When a community, school system, water and sewer board, university or other entity needs better, safer facilities, they turn to the bond market for their capital needs,” remarked Reed. “Having easy access to the bond market is an essential part of ensuring that communities are developed to their fullest potential.”
Reed’s record of service to her state includes her nomination by Governor Kay Ivey to the Alabama Women’s Tribute Statue Commission and chairmanships of the Montgomery Health and Wellness Task Force and the 100 Women Strong Committee.
Serving as one of Alabama’s preeminent female leaders is a role Reed is glad to embrace as a trailblazer in her new position.
“I’m excited about being Alabama’s first female investment banker,” she indicated. “I believe this opportunity defines the intelligence exhibited by females willing to step out and break the glass ceiling in male-dominated areas. I certainly take this undertaking very seriously and look forward to paving the way for other females who wish to embark upon a career in investment banking.”
And landing at a firm that shared her values and focus was essential as she embarked on the next chapter of her career.
“I’ve been aware of Frazer Lanier’s positive impact on our community for years,” Reed elaborated. “They are proven leaders in their communities and are involved in organizations that focus on uplifting people. I admire that and will certainly follow that tradition.”
Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia