For Immediate Release - December 02, 2011

Commonwealth Hosts First Annual Investor Conference

Forum Builds on Positive Outlook on Massachusetts by Investor Community

State leaders today hosted the Commonwealth’s first annual Investor Conference in Boston, building on the solid relationships that have recently been fostered with major institutional investors and leveraging those relationships for a more positive environment when it comes to borrowing rates.

“The Commonwealth is coming out the recession faster than most states because we have invested in education, innovation and infrastructure,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Thanks to our solid partnerships with institutional investors we’ve been able to make fiscally responsible investments to grow jobs and build stronger future the Commonwealth’s residents.”

“Outreach to the investor community works.  It pays huge dividends in terms of lowering borrowing costs and positioning the Commonwealth as a competitive place to do business,” said Treasurer Steven Grossman.  “We have a great story to tell, and we want to ensure that our message of strong fiscal discipline is heard by as many investors as possible.” 

“The Patrick-Murray Administration has made sound fiscal management a cornerstone of the Commonwealth’s economic recovery plan,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez. “By enacting balanced, on-time budgets, implementing spending cuts and investing in job creation opportunities we are creating a solid climate for continued investment in the Commonwealth.”

Joined by financial experts, the Commonwealth and eight other public authorities met with hundreds of institutional investors from across the country to review their borrowing plans and showcase their current financial positions.  Top officials from the state and the authorities each had opportunities to highlight their strong economic footing to encourage institutional lenders from across the country to invest in them at highly competitive borrowing rates.  The borrowing is used to finance capital infrastructure improvements such as roads and bridges, school building construction, and water and sewer improvements.

Several recent economic developments led by the Patrick-Murray Administration have created a more competitive environment when the Commonwealth borrows from institutional investors.  These developments include:

  • Historic pension reform legislation signed last month by Governor Patrick that will save the Commonwealth more than $5 billion over the next 30 years.
  • Significant recent deposits of over $700 million in the state’s Rainy Day Fund by the Patrick-Murray Administration, bringing it to nearly $1.5 billion, the third highest of any state in the country.
  • Landmark municipal health care reform legislation signed by Governor Patrick earlier this year that will save over $100 million.

These initiatives were also among those cited by Standard and Poor’s this past summer when it increased the state’s credit rating to AA+ from AA.  The upgrade signaled a strong vote of confidence in the management of the state’s fiscal affairs, and taken together with a rating of Aa1 from Moody’s and AA+ from Fitch, gives Massachusetts its highest credit standing in history.  The upgrade came after the state’s top leaders and elected officials hosted the three rating agencies in Boston to highlight the state’s fiscal discipline.

Last month, the Commonwealth was able to borrow $1.2 billion in short-term notes at 0.1 percent, a record low interest rate.  State leaders attributed this to the newly improved Standard and Poor’s credit rating and improved outreach and communication with institutional lenders.  This low rate translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars in avoided interest costs for taxpayers.

The Investor Conference was developed as part of a recent effort to ensure that the Commonwealth’s investor communications and outreach remains strong in the municipal bond market.  State officials said they plan on making the Investor Conference an annual event as they continue to position the Commonwealth as one of the most competitive places to invest and do business.