Dr. Bushell Featured at The Bond Buyer’s National Outlook Conference

Dr. Gerrard P. Bushell delivers remarks at The Bond Buyer's 2019 National Outlook Conference in New York City
Dr. Gerrard P. Bushell delivers remarks at The Bond Buyer's 2019 National Outlook Conference in New York City.

It is a pleasure to be here with you today, representing New York State. When Governor Cuomo delivered his State of the State address in Albany, he outlined his $175 billion-dollar budget plan for 2019-2020. New York State’s total estimated capital spending in the current fiscal year is $11.2 billion. Projected to total $14.0 billion in FY 2020.

This administration is focused on change and creating opportunity, and we are working closely with the State to provide infrastructure solutions and help improve the lives of New Yorkers.

We are DASNY and we are in the business of infrastructure. We finance, design develop, and construct the most important projects for public and private health care and higher education institutions throughout New York State.

We do that by offering direct access to capital markets for low-cost, tax-exempt and taxable bonds.

This year DASNY is once again the number one issuer in the nation, a distinction it has held twice in the past four years. We consulted many of you in this audience for a variety of transactions, so thank you for your partnership and your expertise.

DASNY’s public finance business had a strong year. Bond issuances totaled approximately $9.1 billion, despite the impact the repeal of advance refunding had on the municipal bond market.

One DASNY

We are keenly aware that we must continue to deliver for our clients, to create opportunity. And so, we introduced many process improvements through our One DASNY initiative, which focuses on broadening our mission through market expansion, top line revenue growth, better managing risk and driving efficiencies across our entire organization.   

During my tenure as President & CEO, DASNY has issued approximately $34 billion in transactions. This is the DASNY you know.

Here is the DASNY you do not know. We are growing and have become one of the nation’s most important public builders, offering project management services on capital projects.

DASNY is advancing Governor Cuomo’s agenda by being an economic engine across the entire state, delivering jobs by financing and building the social infrastructure that supports our communities and makes them an attractive place for job creation.

Our projects include: scientific and medical research laboratories, life science centers, classrooms for all levels of education, libraries, and hospitals.

If you’ve been by nearby Harlem Hospital and its $265 million patient pavilion with the beautiful 429-pane mural depicting African American history -- we managed the design and construction of that. DASNY’s footprints can be traced across all corners of the state.

Whether it is public-sector clients like SUNY and CUNY, or in the private sector with Columbia University, New York University, Cornell University, Memorial Sloan Kettering, or Northwell Health to name a few, each of our relationships play critical roles in economic expansion.

This year will mark 75 years since our inception, and we will continue evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients. We are intentionally presenting DASNY in a different way, advancing the State’s support of innovation, social impact, growth, and inclusion.

Through One DASNY, we are promoting integration and collaboration across all divisions. We have increased the flow of information and the speed of decision-making and deployed new technology. This has resulted in the expansion of our financing, design, and construction project delivery methods.

Financing Guideline Changes

We have put numerous changes in place to positively impact New York State and are applying what we have learned to advance our mission and better assist our partners in higher education and health care.

These changes include the revision of our Financing Guidelines for Independent Institutions, which provide our clients with greater clarity and certainty.

This is a process that began in 2015, when one of the first steps we took was to simplify our financing guidelines allowing borrowers to move to the market faster and reduce security requirements. Additional changes included eliminating the need for mortgages and debt service reserve funds for financings credits of “A” or higher for higher educational institutions. This allowed the issuer to access the market based on their general obligation.

These efforts started with a listening tour, where I met with DASNY’s public and private sector clients. These meetings provided vital insights on how to strengthen our partnerships. And we acted.

We made changes that removed barriers to reaching the municipal bond market through DASNY for higher education and health care institutions.  

This also made DASNY a more competitive option for A rated institutions like St. John’s University, Teachers College and Fordham who would benefit from these changes.  

By listening to the voices of the industry and responding to their needs, DASNY strengthened its relationships with its partners.

This was significant, but we realized we had to go further. We moved to improve our performance by effectively solving problems and improving processes. We became faster and more efficient.

Last year we also re-evaluated and strengthened our position as conduit issuer. We did not just look at our public financing division, we looked at DASNY as a whole. We learned from our clients. The two most critical issues for them are cost of capital, and time to market. So, we adapted and moved to a market driven approach.

We no longer have prescribed security requirements by sector and by rating category. We look to the market to identify the security features and ask our investment banking partners and clients for examples of comparables.

For instance, if the market does not require a mortgage, we will move forward without one.  If a mortgage is necessary, the client can make the decision as to whether full, partial or no title insurance is necessary. All we will ask is that we have full and fair disclosure in the Preliminary Offering Statement. We are relying on market driven factors to price risk and make security prescriptionsWe will no longer do that!

Again, we pushed to work faster, and be more proficient in helping partners get to the market. More efficiencies and better risk management help our not-for-profit clients secure timely access to low-cost, tax-exempt financing. To accomplish this, we had to change our approach to the financing process. 

Today we place emphasis on securing the necessary governmental approvals, recognizing that our clients and our third-party professionals are focused on moving the working group process forward. For example, tax diligence and the satisfaction of Department of Health Certificate of Need contingencies, can be completed before the Preliminary Offering Statement (POS) is mailed, rather than before a DASNY Board meeting. This saves time and provides our clients more flexibility.

We no longer require good faith deposits and can close transactions remotely.  DASNY also is no longer a party to the Continuing Disclosure Agreement.

DASNY has streamlined our processes and can provide clients with reimbursements of their costs within two or three days, rather than up to two-weeks, providing faster access to bond proceeds.

These changes are perfect examples of how DASNY is continually improving, and is promoting a culture of continuous improvement across all service areas. DASNY is a customer-focused, valued partner capable of solving problems. We are advancing our mission and better assisting our partners in higher education and health care.

We understand you have choices. We want to be your first and last. New York State is an important driver of change, and DASNY is constantly delivering on its behalf many of the most important public and private infrastructure projects in higher education and health services.

Montefiore Health System

We applied many of our process improvements to the $685 million hybrid tax-exempt/taxable financing DASNY performed on behalf of the Montefiore Health System, which operates in the Bronx, Westchester County and the lower Hudson Valley. The financing implemented a flexible financial structure that supports Montefiore’s growth as one of the nation’s leading academic health systems. Montefiore also offers advanced specialty and surgical care, primary care, centers of excellence, research and education, as well as compressive case management. We were able to help Montefiore position itself for the future with the most advantageous debt structure by:

  • Exiting the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) mortgage insurance program and creating an overall system wide level debt service;
  • Funding new money projects;
  • Restructuring their outstanding debt; and
  • Reimbursing for prior capital expenditures thereby putting cash back on their balance sheet.

Utilizing a hybrid tax-exempt/taxable financing structure through DASNY allowed Montefiore’s financing to be structured in a way to appeal to the greatest range of investors. Montefiore chose these various financing vehicles to tap additional capital and implement a flexible financial structure that supports Montefiore’s growth as one of the nation’s leading academic health systems and community hospitals.

NYU/Catholic Health/Columbia/CUNY

DASNY has also issued billions of dollars to support the capital needs of private, not-for profit higher education institutions in New York State, helping them attract the best and brightest students.

We have a long-standing relationship with New York University. In 2018, DASNY issued $593 million on behalf of the institution, $349 million of which was offered as a tax-exempt series and a $244 million taxable series.

Utilizing a hybrid financing structure provided NYU with greater efficiency as well as future flexibility for private use through the issuance of taxable bonds.

New York University has recognized our ability to problem solve and will be once again financing with DASNY next month. Catholic Health System of Western New York will be financing with us as well.

Earlier this fiscal year, DASNY financed more than $325 million for Columbia University to upgrade and expand its Nanofabrication Clean Room and complete various design, construction, and renovation projects, located throughout the University System.

This financing provided additional space for academic and support services at the Jerome L. Greene Science Center for which DASNY issued $50 million in green bonds on Columbia’s behalf in April 2016.

By providing capital for these projects, we are investing in doctors, scientists, and engineers who will drive innovation across New York State and the nation from inside Columbia’s walls for decades to come.

In addition to our work supporting Columbia’s Manhattanville campus, DASNY financed and built the premier Advanced Science Research Center, advancing the Life Science Cluster, which started in Harlem with the City University of New York (CUNY).

It is adjacent to a new, state-of-the-art science building at City College of New York (CCNY), the Center for Discovery and Innovation, also financed and built by DASNY. The two facilities combine to a value of approximately $700 million, making them the highest value project in DASNY’s history.

The life sciences cluster stretches from Northern Manhattan down to New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn. This is the work of New York State.

state sales tax revenue bond transactions & PIT

We are a fee for service public benefit corporation. We procure underwriting and, legal services to execute on behalf of our clients on a wide array of state infrastructure needs. This includes state sales tax revenue bond transactions. In July, we issued $1.8 billion of tax-exempt and taxable, state sales tax revenue bonds in two separate series.

In September, we issued $1.7 billion of tax-exempt and taxable state, sales tax revenue bonds in three separate series. And the reintroduction of PIT in December – a $1.7 billion of tax-exempt and taxable, personal income tax revenue bonds in two separate series.

This is a great credit (AA1 Moody’s, AA plus Fitch), and continues to be very well-received.  

In addition to our state transactions, we also support the capital needs of education institutions throughout New York. In 2018 DASNY had a Record $585.2 Million in low-cost, tax-exempt bonds on behalf of 56 school districts in September. We are seeing more school districts come to us to take advantage of this program in a rising rate environment.

Construction

Governor Cuomo is focused on change and making government work for the people of this great state. We demonstrate our leadership in this space by transforming how we do business, working together to deliver our services as a cohesive and integrated organization to better serve all New Yorkers. We have a broad client base in the public and private sectors, and they benefit from the full complement of our services.

Central to our ability to deliver services in an efficient manner are our procurement processes. DASNY contracts with a large segment of the private market to access a wide variety of infrastructure related construction and financial services for our clients. Many of these contracts are procured and issued on an on-call basis, shortening the duration between a client request for services and the execution of the work. A local development corporation or Industrial Development Agency (IDA) cannot fulfill these needs. We are more than an issuer. We are a provider of infrastructure solutions. To advance on the State’s directives, we must make sure we are driving operations to effectively managing risk, generate greater efficiencies and we are evaluating every tool in our arsenal.

In our construction division, we are a prolific builder for healthcare and higher education clients throughout the state. When you look at the aggregate numbers, we have a pipeline of more than 1,000 projects valued at more than $6.6 billion.

Within this pipeline we recognize a need to deliver faster and with greater impact. DASNY is constantly striving to deliver projects in the most efficient manner possible, using all project delivery methods at our disposal that match our client’s needs. That is why we have placed a renewed focus on our procurement policies and contracting methods, including the development of a new best-practice design build contract.

SUNY is one of our largest clients where we can employ design-build and other alternative methods which are creating opportunities beyond the SUNY program.

Using design-build, both design and construction services are provided through a single contract to expedite project delivery and provide savings, while maintaining a high level of quality.

Because we are able to be more efficient and deliver projects faster, more is being asked of us. Recognizing DASNY’s capabilities, Governor Cuomo has made it a priority of his in his Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Executive Budget to expand the use of alternative delivery. If enacted, the proposal will allow the use of alternative delivery for all DASNY client programs

SUNY Brockport

We are very excited about design-build. It is a game changer. We successfully used the  design-build method earlier this year to deliver a $24 million, 263-bed residence hall at SUNY Brockport.

With design-build, we are putting the focus on best-value delivery, and creating incentives for private-sector builders to execute faster.

Construction of the SUNY Brockport project was completed within 13 months – the fastest we have delivered a new residence hall.

MWBE

By utilizing this and other progressive alternative delivery methods, we also have the opportunity to incorporate MWBE and SDVOB goals earlier, building them into the general conditions (design/construction).

This administration has set an important benchmark for all state agencies and authorities with a 30 percent MWBE goal on all state contracts. Our MWBE goals on SUNY Brockport exceeded that number -- 33.6 percent. Inclusion is at the core of what we do. We exceeded this goal because we integrated earlier in the process our ability to leverage equity and inclusion. Working with MWBE firms and hiring minorities, women and veterans strengthens market positions, which in turn helps expand and grow New York’s economy. We are at our best when we are inclusive for all.

SUNY Oneonta

DASNY is also collaborating with SUNY and the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) on the development of a design-build, zero-net energy-ready retrofit residence hall project at SUNY Oneonta, which is expected to be a model for future sustainable residence hall renovations throughout the SUNY system. This will be advertised shortly by DASNY.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica

Design-build is also being deployed for a $27.8 million, 257-bed, design-build residence hall at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica

The SUNY Poly Utica project will be financed through DASNY’s SUNY Dormitory Facilities Program, which issues low-cost, tax-exempt bonds supported by student residence hall fees.

What is unique about this project is that this residence hall will be constructed as “zero-net energy-ready”. This means in addition to meeting or exceeding existing energy codes, the infrastructure for future energy performance systems will already be in place. Once these systems are installed, the building will use equal or less energy than it can produce annually.

We are excited to support Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal to reduce the state’s carbon emissions by 2040, and work with one of our largest clients, recognizing SUNY Chancellor Dr. Kristina M. Johnson’s vision to retrofit and renovate SUNY’s 64 campus system to achieve greater energy savings.

NYS Life Sciences Lab

The success of our design-build portfolio has helped pave the way for a $750 million, design-build, New York State Life Sciences Public Health Laboratory in the Capital Region.

Regarded as a laboratory for the 21st century, the laboratory will function as a magnet for future private-sector investments where employees, visiting researchers, company executives, and academic partners cross paths to accelerate innovation and value creation.

Estimates show that the lab will likely attract thousands of life sciences jobs and generate billions in economic activity for the region to support Governor Cuomo’s groundbreaking $650 million initiative to spur the growth of a new, world-class life science research cluster in New York.

DASNY is unique in that everything we do is executed hand-in-hand with the private sector. All of our construction projects are delivered in direct partnership with private sector contractors, architects, engineers.

Expanding Energy Performance Contracting Program

DASNY is also at the forefront of Governor Cuomo’s bold agenda to reduce the states carbon footprint, setting New York on a path to make the state’s energy 100 percent carbon free by 2040. DASNY is playing an active role in helping deliver on this goal by acting as a turn-key solution provider. DASNY is expanding its energy performance contracting offerings, enabling clients to pay for needed facility improvements with the energy savings generated from these upgrades.

DASNY’s new energy-saving program, for which we are currently issuing a procurement, will help DASNY clients reduce their environmental impacts and operating costs. It will also advance Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s statewide energy goal to build a clean energy future for all of New York State.

This program will enable us to offer a turn-key solution to both public and private clients to finance, design, and build capital projects that save energy through a combination of DASNY’s Tax-Exempt Equipment Leasing Program, (TELP) as well as its procurement and construction services.

This is a tremendous opportunity to help clients who would benefit from both the energy improvements and the tax-exempt savings, but do not have the internal capacity to develop and manage these projects.

Our new energy performance offerings are a natural extension and integration of our finance and construction services.

Tax-Exempt Equipment Leasing Program (TELP)

It also supports and creates and opportunity to reintroduce our Tax-Exempt Equipment Leasing Program (TELP). We recognize the need to reposition and broaden the profile of this program across the market. Now, we are offering a full portfolio of solutions for our clients, who need to have a more robust offering.

Utilizing TELP, hospitals, universities, and other not-for-profit institutions have access to DASNY’s tax-exempt financing to obtain lower interest rates for capital equipment leases.

We have issued numerous TELP transactions for our clients, like the Hospital for Special Surgery, enabling the hospital to secure $15 million for nursing, operating room and upgraded information technology equipment.

Recently, DASNY and The Arc New York (NYSARC, Inc. – a organization that advocates and provides support and services to people with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities) recently closed on a $7 million transaction.

This was the first transaction of a larger $20 million tax-exempt equipment lease authorization for The Arc New York to purchase adaptive equipment and specialized vehicles for individuals with disabilities, as well as finance information technology equipment upgrades.

Over the last two decades, The Arc New York has completed 34 lease transactions totaling approximately $150.1 million through TELP.

Every dollar saved through TELP is reinvested, enabling The Arc New York to make needed upgrades that will help advance its mission, supporting New Yorkers with disabilities.

In FY 2018, DASNY executed $148.7 million in low-cost leases through TELP.

CLOSING

We have embraced new ways, new technologies, to build new, and renovate existing buildings that will help drive down costs and generate savings. We have introduced new solutions.

We have been introspective, which allows us to find many more ways to partner with public and private institutions. New York State is a critical partner for your financing, construction, energy and procurement solutions, and DASNY brings that all together.

We are doing that by seizing the opportunity to evolve to meet the changing needs of our partners.  We are reliably delivering low-cost financing, construction services, and continuous innovation for our clients.

We are on a quest in our 75th year to do more and to do it better. Everyone who is doing business with DASNY recognizes our procurements demand more than just delivering a project on time and on budget.

We are advancing New York State’s support of innovation, social impact, growth, equity and inclusion, positioning DASNY as a national leader in each of these important sectors.

We are helping create diverse, sustainable and resilient communities that can better compete for business.

Only by providing the highest level of service, creating efficiencies, and offering inventive solutions to challenges, will we deliver more for all New Yorkers.

Thank you.

Click here for link to accompanying PowerPoint presentation.