Who We Are

What We Do

We provide investment banking, research, sales and trading, asset and wealth management, public finance, insurance, private capital, and family office services.

About Us

We are a family-owned financial services firm that values client relationships, long-term stability, and supporting the communities where we live and work.

The Stephens Story

The idea of family defines our culture, because each of us knows that our reputation is on the line as if our own name was on the door.

Leadership

Our reputation as a leading independent financial services firm is built on the stability of our longstanding and highly experienced senior executives.

Impact Initiatives

We are committed to corporate philanthropy; economic and financial literacy advocacy; and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Our Brand Ambassadors

Stephens is proud to sponsor the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, and PGA TOUR Champions careers, as well as applaud the philanthropic endeavors, of our Brand Ambassadors.

Making Connections

We host many highly informative meetings each year with clients, industry decision makers, and thought leaders across the U.S. and in Europe.

Our Businesses

Capital Management

We provide fiduciary investment strategies to public-and private-sector institutional clients through asset allocation, consulting, and retirement services.

Fixed Income Sales & Trading

Decades of proven performance and experience in providing tailored fixed income trading and underwriting services to major municipal and corporate issuers.

Institutional Equities and Research

Proven industry-leading research, global market insights, and client-focused execution.

Insurance

Customized risk management, property & casualty, executive strategies and employee benefits solutions that protect our clients over the long term.

Investment Banking

We assist companies with accessing capital through innovative advisory and execution services that help firms achieve their strategic goals.

Private Capital

We have been a trusted and reliable source of capital for private companies for over 70 years.

Private Wealth Management

Our experienced Private Client Group professionals develop customized investment strategies to help clients achieve their financial goals.

Public Finance

We are a trusted municipal advisor with proven expertise in public financings. We also work with clients in negotiated and competitive municipal underwritings.

Stephens Spotlights

At Stephens Public Finance, Comprehensive Service Means Constant Guidance

Feb 22, 2022

From our base in Arkansas, Stephens has expanded throughout the South and Southeast over the past several years. Our practice includes negotiated and competitive underwritings, as well as municipal advisory work. The firm’s securities distribution capability with individual and institutional investors is a proven strength. As a result of our capital position, we are able to underwrite bonds quickly and efficiently for clients.

Stephens’ thorough knowledge of industry techniques and seasoned management skills enable us to provide strategic solutions for our clients. We serve in transactions as municipal advisor, sole manager, senior manager, co-senior manager or co-manager for issuers.

A Q&A with Senior Vice President Jack Truemper

While Stephens Public Finance is focused on debt management, Senior Vice President Jack Truemper knows districts need to have a complete understanding of their total financial picture. This includes ongoing financial analysis, constant communication, and presenting financing opportunities to help school districts plan for the future.

What kind of work does Stephens Public Finance do for Arkansas school districts when a district is not working on a bond issue?

Whether they do a bond issue once a year or once every 10 years, our involvement with our school district clients is ongoing and thorough. We are very proactive with our school districts providing financial analysis, fulfilling reporting requirements, school board training, legislative updates, and evaluating existing debt for new project funds or refinancing for interest cost-saving opportunities.

When Stephens analyzes a district’s finances, what is it evaluating?

We are helping districts understand their borrowing power — their ability to borrow money. We start by providing a financial analysis report for the district. This includes looking at the district’s assessed values, millage structure, outstanding debt, and financing options.

What analysis does Stephens provide to help districts understand how they relate to their peers?

We provide our district clients with a benchmark report that statistically compares the district with other school districts. This information includes but is not limited to comparing a district’s assessed values, bonded and nonbonded debt, millage rate, demographics, base teacher pay, and student transportation funding.

The report also includes a summary of regional and statewide comparisons. We use this information to provide districts with a better understanding of how they compare, recognizing that each district is different and unique.

How does Stephens assist districts in planning for future capital improvements?

First, we meet with the district’s administration to determine their future planning goals, objectives, and timing. Based upon these discussions, we develop and present various financing options that show the districts’ debt capacity based upon existing circumstances and drill down to what is most reasonable for the district and its patrons’ best interest.

Subsequently, we will hold a planning session with the district’s board to discuss the various available options to the district. Throughout this process, we continually provide districts with weekly communications on the municipal bond market and interest rate movements. Our expertise in the bond market is a big part of our ongoing support for clients.

Beyond financial markets, are there other venues Stephens monitors for potential impacts on school districts?

We continually inform our clients about federal and state legislative and regulatory developments that are important to not only the tax-exempt municipal bond marketplace but also Arkansas school finance. This includes public school funding, election laws, and federal changes to the tax code.

Education remains a significant part of Stephens’ relationships with Arkansas school districts. Are there any other components to what Stephens offers on that front?

We can provide district clients with up to four hours per year of training on school finance, debt management, and auditing as requested. This helps school board members fulfill their training requirements. We want to be a resource to our clients, understand what districts’ needs are, and provide any assistance that they need.

What does Stephens help school districts with from a regulatory reporting standpoint?

Under federal regulations, school districts that issue municipal bonds are required to provide certain financial disclosure annually under their agreement with investors. Stephens provides our clients with comprehensive continuing disclosure services under our municipal advisory agreements.

This is important as regulators require it every year. It tells the district’s story and gives investors information about their investment in Arkansas school bonds.

The annual report includes information on millage rate, assessment history, current outstanding debt, aggregate combined debt service schedule, borrowing capacity, a history of tax collections, and audited financials. Once completed and approved by the district, the annual report is filed with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s electronic database.

In what ways does Stephens help districts with their millage elections?

When a district decides to conduct a millage campaign to fund certain construction projects or operations within the district, Stephens will assist in such efforts. We develop effective campaign strategies, including tactics and timelines as well as engaging community leaders and
coordinating with election officials. We also participate in community meetings, among other events, as needed. We develop useful information that can be used in flyers, mailouts, and on social media. This includes providing examples from other successful millage campaigns. We also produce and print mailers for district use.

We evaluate information on Arkansas’s Academic Facilities Partnership Program and how it benefits a district when seeking a millage extension or increase. We can recommend political consultants with expertise in public school election polling and campaign management.

And we will review and coordinate all legal publications and documentation.

Those are examples of the services we can provide to districts conducting millage campaigns, but we will do whatever we can to help them be successful.

About the Expert

Jack Truemper

Senior Vice President, Public Finance

Read full bio