Des Moines Public Finance

Focusing exclusively on Iowa issuers

Our six-person Iowa team regularly acts as financial advisor, underwriter and placement agent for various types of financing.  


Timothy Oswald
Managing Director
+1 515 247-2358
Email | Biography

Matthew Gillaspie
Managing Director
+1 515 247-2353
Email | Biography

Travis Squires
Managing Director
+1 515 247-2354
Email | Biography

Piper Sandler
3900 Ingersoll Ave
Suite 110
Des Moines, IA 50312

We have completed hundreds of securities transactions including the placement of general obligation (GO) and revenue-based debt securities, and long range capital planning.

Learn more about how our Des Moines Public Finance office supports:

City and County Finance

Piper Sandler is a leading financial advisor and underwriter to Iowa’s cities and counties. We have intimate knowledge of laws governing the issuance of city and county debt securities.

We assist with securities transactions, including:

  • general obligation
  • sales tax revenue
  • certificates of participation
  • utility revenue
  • tax increment
  • annual appropriation issues

We provide ongoing long-range capital planning and budget assistance, including:

  • modeling of future capital improvements
  • rate analysis
  • budgetary impact analysis

We assist communities addressing regulatory pressure by providing an analysis of the community’s financial capacity to address mandated infrastructure improvements.

We participate in governing body meetings, planning sessions, work sessions, and public forums, where we assist our clients in communicating with the public.

We advise on the use of municipal bond ratings and/or credit enhancement. If these options are cost effective, we coordinate the effort to secure and work to attain the highest possible bond rating, and/or lowest cost credit enhancement. We also assist communities in managing their statutory debt limit.

Our team is proud to have assisted Iowa cities and counties with many “first in the State” financing transactions:

  • First financial advisor to publicly offer local option sales tax revenue bonds at competitive sale (Storm Lake Law Enforcement Center)
  • First underwriter to sell annual appropriation obligations, with a long-term municipal credit rating (Coralville redevelopment)
  • First financial advisor to publicly offer urban renewal Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) bonds at competitive sale (West Des Moines) without bond insurance or other credit enhancement
  • First financial advisor to publicly offer road use tax revenue bonds (which do not count as constitutional debt) at competitive sale, with a municipal bond rating and with AAA-rated municipal bond insurance (DeWitt)

School Corporation Finance

Piper Sandler assists Iowa schools with financing for new facilities, renovation of campus infrastructure and refinancing of existing debt.

We advise schools with the issuance of General Obligation (GO) bonds, Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) capital loan notes, and sales tax revenue bonds. We also assist schools with the modeling of cash flows related to sales tax revenues or other project expenditures.

Our team works directly with school administrators and governing bodies. We often participate in public meetings to present the funding mechanism and tax implications for a project in an easy-to-understand format, which helps with the voted referendum or public approval process.

We have assisted school foundations with non-profit borrowings to fund school facilities projects. Our Iowa office also assists many of the state’s community colleges and area education agencies with issuing GO, NJTP and/or certificates of participation.

Our team is proud to have assisted Iowa schools with many “first in the State” financing transactions:

  • First financial advisor to publicly offer school sales tax revenue bonds (SILO) for sale, and the first to convince a major insurer to guarantee the payments on SILO bonds
  • First to negotiate placement with local banks of SILO bonds that produced a borrowing against 100 percent of sales tax revenues over 10 years
  • First to negotiate with local banks for the purchase of SILO bonds at rates that were at or below current open-market levels, producing the most cost-effective borrowing to the issuer
  • Assisted with the issuance of debt for a major school project that included the sharing and joint dedication of both school sales tax revenues and city-county sales tax revenues in one debt issuanc
  • First securities dealer to offer lease securities for Iowa’s Area Education Agencies
  • First to assist a district in the state with a “forward refunding” issuance, which took advantage of current low rates for an issuer that could not advance refund its debt


Economic Development and Non-profit Finance

Our Des Moines team supports and facilitates transactions for non-profit providers of services such as:

  • higher education
  • academic testing
  • arts and exhibits
  • community performing arts
  • community health
  • physical training
  • senior living
  • human services

Our deep expertise in economic development, knowledge of Iowa state and federal programs, and relationships with key Iowa agencies and officials all combine to deliver the right products and services for each unique non-profit organization.

Piper Sandler is the Midwest region’s top specialist in structuring tax-exempt bond issues to meet the needs of non-profit organizations. We have a proven track record in pricing and distributing bonds and identifying innovative financing options for non-profits.


Private Placement

When an issue is best suited for private placement due to credit strength, the short term nature of the issue, or issue size, our team is ready to assist.

We have knowledge to support a private placement. Step by step, we:

  1. Identify the prevailing market to be used as a benchmark upon which to compare proposals
  2. Assist the issuer in creating the term sheet
  3. Communicate with potential investors
  4. Analyze proposals received

Finally, we recommend whether to accept the proposal, modify the process for the securities issuance, or consider another approach to funding the project.

Upon recommending acceptance, we will issue a market rate opinion letter to support the issuer’s obligation. This step ensures that it receives the lowest cost capital available.