Press Release

Mesirow launches Defeasance Solutions group, opening a new chapter in firm’s 86-year history

  • Mesirow Public Finance and Mesirow Institutional Sales & Trading to collaborate in serving client needs through defeasance process
  • Team has more than 30 years of experience executing defeasance transactions 
  • Venture reflects Mesirow’s specialized capital markets businesses and entrepreneurial, collaborative culture

CHICAGO, October 9, 2023 – Mesirow, an independent, employee-owned financial services firm, today announced that the firm’s Public Finance and Institutional Sales & Trading groups will partner to offer clients portfolio optimization for defeasance and cash flow management. The team of dedicated experts will structure, package, and execute fixed income portfolios to satisfy required cash flows, while working within client investment parameters.

Through defeasance, a borrower can move debt or other liabilities off a balance sheet, streamlining the payment process without prepayment fees while mitigating interest rate volatility/risk. This is accomplished through the purchase of a structured portfolio comprising U.S. Treasury Bonds and agency securities designed by Mesirow to deliver a precise, predetermined cash flow over time.

The team will be led by Managing Directors Jay Connelly and Sam Gruer, who are based in the firm’s Chicago and New York offices, respectively. “For many years, Mesirow has been utilizing its strong and long-term relationships with clients to source and wholesale fixed income securities to the Street for defeasance purposes”, said Jay Connelly, Mesirow’s head rates trader. “It is a natural progression to take the next step into becoming a direct provider.”

Sam Gruer joined the firm in 2022 after a long career in the public finance arena. During this time, Mr. Gruer served in a variety of roles in and around the defeasance space in principal, agent and consulting capacities. “I am excited about the opportunities presented by leveraging Jay and his innovative approach to pricing; bringing my experiences, relationships, and expertise to this initiative; and the robust trading platform for which Mesirow is known. The result will be meticulously crafted, cost-effective solutions for our clients,” said Mr. Gruer about this new venture.

“We are excited to add defeasance services to our robust platform offering,” said Todd Waldrop, Senior Managing Director and head of Mesirow Public Finance. “This effort reflects the collaborative, ‘teams of experts’ approach that differentiates Mesirow Capital Markets by bringing the whole of Mesirow to market to benefit our clients.”

Both teams are integral lines of business within Mesirow Capital Markets:

Mesirow Public Finance provides innovative debt financing solutions to fund capital and infrastructure projects of government agencies, non-profits and other tax-exempt borrowers. Completed over three thousand transactions totaling over $406B in par amount.1

Mesirow Institutional Sales & Trading is one of the nation’s most active desks, with $125B in annual secondary trading volume and 60+ traders, sales professionals and analysts aligned by fixed income sector.2

Clients, advisors, or consultants looking for structured portfolio solutions can reach the team at

About Mesirow

Mesirow is an independent, employee-owned financial services firm founded in 1937. Headquartered in Chicago, with offices around the world, we serve clients through a personal, custom approach to reaching financial goals and acting as a force for social good. With capabilities spanning Global Investment Management, Capital Markets & Investment Banking, and Advisory Services, we invest in what matters: our clients, our communities, and our culture.

Mesirow was recently named one of the Best Places to Work in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business and one of the Top 100 RIA firms by Barron’s. To learn more, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.

1. Data reflects both competitive and negotiated transactions. | 2. As of 3.31.23 (updated annually).

Award recognition disclosures:

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