OUR TEAM

HBCU Capital Financing Program

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Don Rice
Chief Executive Officer
Rice Financial Products Company

 

 

 

Don Rice founded Rice Financial Products Company in 1993 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer.  Under Mr. Rice’s leadership, Rice Financial has provided underwriting services on municipal bond transactions totaling more than $415 billion and has executed derivative transactions with an aggregate notional amount of more than $30 billion.

Mr. Rice’s career in the municipal bond business began at BAML, where he focused on applying taxable fixed income interest rate swap concepts to create new products for the municipal markets.  Mr. Rice was a Director in municipal derivatives, new products and variable rate products.  His many accomplishments while at BAML also include a large, complex swap-based refunding of 200 separate municipal loans for the District of Columbia, which was an Institutional Investor Deal of the Year.

After forming Rice Financial in 1993 and securing a foothold in the derivatives market, Mr. Rice dramatically expanded the firm’s focus to focus on municipal bond underwriting and taxable fixed income trading.  In 1998, he spearheaded the firm’s acquisition of a successful broker/dealer, Apex Securities.  He oversaw the subsequent acquisition of the municipal operations of Pryor, Counts & Co. in 1999.  Under his guidance, the firm moved from being the 32nd ranked municipal bond underwriter in 2006 (full credit to each manager, negotiated issues), to 19th in 2016. Today, Rice Financial employs some of the most experienced sales and trading professionals in the municipal finance industry, averaging 26 years of experience.

In 2009, Mr. Rice created a new subsidiary, Rice Capital Access Program, LLC, to serve the U.S. Department of Education as Designated Bonding Authority for the Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program.  To date, Rice Capital Access has facilitated $1.3 billion in direct loans for public and private higher education institutions through the Program. While these loans were not publicly offered, the banking and credit analysis services are analogous to those performed by a senior manager on a tax-exempt bond transaction.

As a municipal bond underwriter, Mr. Rice has established a reputation for creative problem solving.  A $114 million bond transaction senior managed by Rice Financial for the Jackson Public School District in Mississippi received the Bond Buyer’s Southeast Region Deal of the Year award.  It was the largest school district bond financing ever completed in the state of Mississippi.

Mr. Rice has received significant notice for his work over the years. His transactions have received award recognition from a number of industry specific publications.  He has received substantial notice in general business publications such as Fortune Magazine as well as numerous awards, including Entrepreneur of the Year by FINRA.

Mr. Rice received an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in engineering with honors from Kettering University.  He also holds honorary doctorates from the University of Arkansas and Arkansas Baptist University.  Mr. Rice was appointed by the Governor of New York and confirmed by the State Senate to serve on the Board of Directors for the New York State Thruway Authority, and its subsidiary, the New York State Canal Corporation, where he also serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. In recent years, Mr. Rice served on the Board of Directors for Kettering University, New York City’s United Neighborhood Houses, New York City’s Administration for Children Services Office of Head Start, which oversees the Head Start program for 20,000 children.

fisher-wWilliam Fisher
Chief Executive Officer
Email Mr. Fisher

 

 

 

 

Mr. Fisher was named CEO of Rice Capital Access Program, LLC, in 2009. In this role, he serves as the Designated Bonding Authority for the U. S. Department of Education’s HBCU Capital Financing Program.

Mr. Fisher is a graduate of Howard University and provides investment banking services to higher education clients nationwide. He served as the original Designated Bonding Authority for the HBCU Capital Financing Program from 1996–1998 during his tenure with Pryor, McClendon, Counts, processing several of the first HBCU loans under the program. During his career Mr. Fisher has participated in transactions for more than 50 different HBCU issuers. The numerous HBCU institutions he has served as senior managing underwriter include Morehouse College, Tuskegee University, and Howard University. Mr. Fisher also oversaw a $66 million swap transaction for Jackson State University and has provided financial advisory services to Jackson State and Grambling State University. He has also served Clark Atlanta University and Tuskegee University as structuring agent and financial advisor in connection with HBCU loan programs.

In earlier positions, Mr. Fisher was an advisor with Public Financial Management (PFM) and a manager for M. R. Beal & Company. He holds a BBA from Howard University.

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Gayle Davis
Chief Administrative Officer

 

Ms. Davis is Chief Administrative Officer of Rice Capital Access Program, LLC, in Atlanta, Georgia, providing analytical and client management services to HBCU institutions nationwide. Previously, Ms. Davis was an Associate for another investment bank where she worked on senior managed transactions for Morehouse College, the City of New Orleans, and the City of Atlanta and Fulton County Recreation Authority (Zoo Atlanta). Before that, she was an Analyst and Loan Servicing Manager in the Municipal Bond Department of Goldman, Sachs & Co. where she concentrated on Federal Housing Administration municipal finance transactions and the management of 13 mortgage loans

Ms. Davis earned a BA cum laude in economics from New York University.

dawson-emoryEmory Dawson
Chief Credit Officer

 

 

 

 

Veteran credit analyst Emory Dawson joined Rice Capital Access in 2010.  Mr. Dawson has 39 years of experience in municipal credit analysis, most recently with HRF Associates, a New Jersey based financial services consulting firm.  In a previous position, he was Director of Municipal Underwriting at American Capital Access (ACA)

Mr. Dawson began his career at Moody’s Investors Service, serving as a Review Analyst for seven years.  In this role, he supervised the review and analysis of and assigned credit ratings to transactions for all types of major issuers, including major airports, public power agencies and large water and sewer issuers.  Later positions included Director of Municipal Research at Marine Midland Bank (four years), Managing Director at Union Bank of Switzerland (8 years), Director of Municipal Underwriting at American Capital Access (10 years) and Senior Vice President at HRF Associates (one year).

At ACA, he syndicated and reinsured virtually all transactions underwritten at the company over a 10-year span, including private colleges and universities, private K-12 schools, transportation facilities, ports and airports, sports facilities, bio-mass and thermal energy facilities, and health care facilities, among others.  He marketed credit enhancement products, sourced high yield transactions worthy of credit enhancement, and credit underwrote and managed the documentation and booking of high yield transactions for the company’s portfolio of municipal, project finance, and not-for-profit taxable and tax-exempt securities.  Over the course of his career at ACA, he sourced 33% of the company’s $7 billion book of high yield municipal and project finance business and was responsible for 30% of the company’s total booked premium ($400 million).  He also created and executed reinsurance agreements meeting state insurance and rating agency guidelines for the syndication of all exposure above ACA’s single risk limit.

Mr. Dawson received a BA in political science from Morehouse College and a master’s degree in regional planning from Syracuse University.

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Vikas Dayal
Credit Officer

 

Vikas Dayal joined Rice Financial in October 2009. Mr. Dayal was formerly employed with JPMorgan as an analyst where he provided analytical support and transactional execution for over $1 billion of senior managed municipal bond and swap transactions for higher education and non-profit clients. Before joining Rice Financial, Mr. Dayal worked at a financial advisory/project development firm as an Associate responsible for working with businesses and governments in emerging markets seeking funding for potential projects and expansion.

Mr. Dayal received a BA degree in economics from the University of Michigan and an executive MBA from Columbia University.

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Gyliane Morgan
Credit Officer

 

Gyliane Morgan joined Rice Financial’s Higher Education Finance Group in 2018 from Kroll Bond Rating Agency, where she was a Director of Public Finance.  Ms. Morgan has 30 years of experience as a credit analyst across the entire credit spectrum of municipal bonds, with particular emphasis on higher education, tax-backed, healthcare and not-for-profit issuers. On the buy-and-sell side, she has broad industry experience in credit underwriting, risk management, bond insurance and rating agency work.

Before Kroll, Ms. Morgan spent six years with Radian Asset Assurance as a Vice President of Public Finance Risk Management.  Earlier positions were with JP Morgan Chase Bank as a Vice President in the Global Credit Risk Management – Municipal Credit Group and as a Vice President in the Tax-Exempt Capital Markets – Credit Origination Group.  Prior to that, she was a Vice President with Prudential Financial where she was a Senior Analyst for healthcare, higher education and not-for-profit entities.

Ms. Morgan received her MPA in Public Finance and Financial Management and a BA from New York University.