Ryan Conway Rejoins PFM as P3 Higher Education Specialist

Ryan Conway, who began his career at PFM in 2001 and has since led the financing process on more than $10 billion in transactions at other organizations, has returned as a Director in PFM’s financial advisory business. In his new role, Conway will focus on alternative financing solutions for institutions of higher education.

“Ryan has gained a unique perspective and understanding of all parties involved in a P3 because of his experience structuring financings in various roles, such as a private developer of Public Private Partnership (P3) projects, university official, investment banker and financial advisor,” said Managing Director June Matte, who heads PFM’s higher education practice.

PFM has previously advised on several P3 projects for higher education institutions, and believes there is a significant opportunity to expand its alternative finance practice as the higher education market continues to grow and develop.  Conway’s addition will enhance the level of service PFM provides to existing clients who are considering P3 projects, and assist in marketing to new clients. 

“Higher education institutions have used forms of alternative financing solutions for decades for assets such as privatized student housing,” said Conway. “In recent years, the industry has evolved and grown to include the financing and/or monetization of non-core assets.  In addition to financing new assets, we believe institutions will increasingly look to alternative financing solutions to address deferred maintenance issues on campus.”

Conway notes market participants in the industry who currently serve as advisors, consultants and developers have disparate backgrounds.  While this can add value by bringing new perspectives and unique skillsets, it can also lead to challenges from a lack of understanding and inability to communicate. 

“We believe the challenges that some of these projects have experienced in the last few years have been the result of a disconnect between institutions and their private partners,” he said. “PFM’s ability to have a balanced understanding of the nuanced details of a specific project financing, and the impact a potential project may have on the institution’s greater mission, positions us well to add value to our clients as a trusted advisor.  This includes working with our clients in an unbiased manner to determine if an alternative financing solution is in their best long-term interests.”     

Conway’s experience allows him to look at these deals from various perspectives. His most recent position was Vice President of Capital Markets for Corvias, where he was responsible for structuring financing solutions for public-private partnerships, as well as managing relationships with institutional investors, and rating agencies and financial institutions. In addition, he led negotiations with university officials on the legal agreements that governed all aspects of the long-term partnerships and oversaw the development of the project pro forma. 

He also served as Director of Capital Markets Finance for the University of Virginia, Director in Wells Fargo Securities’ Public Finance investment banking group and as a Senior Managing Consultant during his earlier stint at PFM. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy Analysis.

As for coming back to where his career began, Conway says he was most attracted to joining a company known for consistently providing advice that is in the client’s best long-term interests.

“It’s great to come back to work with a group of people that I’ve known and respected for a long time,” he said. “Many of the partners and professionals I’m working with now were here in 2001 when I started at PFM. Since leaving, I’ve worked with a number of people throughout the company’s platform in various roles, including being a client, and it is nice to work again with so many talented individuals I have considered friends throughout my career.”

Ryan Conway can be reached at conwayr@pfm.com or 856.425.7817

About PFM

At PFM, over 650 employees - asset managers, financial advisors and consultants - partner with clients in every region of the country to transform their world. We combine superior financial advice, disciplined management and ingenuity to build, power, move and educate.

PFM is the marketing name for a group of affiliated companies providing a range of services. All services are provided through separate agreements with each company. This material is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide specific advice or a specific recommendation.

For more information regarding PFM’s services or entities, please visit www.pfm.com. For important disclosure information please, visit www.pfm.com/disclosures.

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