2020 Virtual Public Funds Investment Act Training

We are excited to host the first-ever virtual Texas CLASS Public Funds Investment Act Training on October 14 and 15, 2020. Join us for two informative days of learning; this is a great opportunity to enhance your knowledge of managing public funds. The webinar is free of charge, so save your spot today. Below please find the required prerequisites and advanced preparation necessary for each of the applicable sessions. Texas CLASS is a registered CPE sponsor through the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy and a Certified TASBO Educator; attendees can earn up to 8 hours of certified CPE or PFIA credits from a variety of organizations. Please note: this seminar was intended to be a group-live event but has since been transposed to a group Internet-based format due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

To register for the entire seminar, click the button below and select all sessions. If you’d like to attend an individual session, click the button directly below the course description. 

Register for Entire Seminar


Day One – October 14

This session will provide attendees with the framework to understand and evaluate key fundamentals for investment grade corporate credit issuers and a better understanding of rating migration risk.

At the end of this session, attendees will gain a stronger understanding of the importance of both the top-down and bottom-up fundamental analysis used to determine the strength of corporate credit issuers; attendees will also gain a better understanding of the core and supplemental credit rating metrics implemented by the Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSRO).


This session will discuss the current state of economic affairs around the world and across the United States with special attention given to the state of Texas and its major metropolitan areas as well as provide an economic forecast through 2022. We will cover real GDP, inflation, and interest rates as well as discuss the key differences between a second term for the Trump administration and a Biden presidency. Finally this session includes a detailed overview and forecast of the Texas economy focusing on key industries including technology, healthcare, commercial development, and energy.

At the end of this session, attendees should have a better understanding of the risks facing the global economy and how they impact the U.S. and Texas economies. Attendees should also have a better understanding of why the Texas economy has consistently ranked as one of the nation’s fastest-growing large states.


This session explains today’s most prevalent payment fraud schemes and lays out specific strategies to deter and/or prevent financial losses. In addition, the infamous Business Email Compromise scam and its deviant cousin Vendor Email Compromise will be described and dissected. This session will provide the policies, practices, and procedures that should be implemented to prevent paying a fraudster.

At the end of this session, attendees will understand the primary methods fraudsters employ to steal taxpayer money and the most effective strategies to block those attempts. Attendees will be well equipped to better educate and train their staff on these issues.


Day Two – October 15

When credit analysts evaluate municipal debt, they include an evaluation of the issuer’s investment policies, strategies, and portfolio performance. This session provides an overview of how third-party evaluators, such as rating agencies and institutional investors, assess risk related to an issuer’s investment portfolio and how that assessment fits into their overall credit analysis. Topics include rating methodologies, questions to expect, the role of management, the role of written policies, and differences in emphasis across municipal sectors and across various fund types (e.g. bond, pension, operating funds, endowments).

At the end of this session, attendees will understand the approach that credit evaluators take in assessing investment policies, strategies, and portfolio performance and be prepared to present an approach confidently and comprehensively.


2020 has been a year of many changes, but the one thing that has not changed is GASB’s need to change everything. In this course, we will review the current GASB statements and provide the related implementation guidance in order to stay up-to-date in an ever-changing financial reporting world.

At the end of this session, attendees will have a better understanding of what GASB statements are issued, how they affect the financial reporting model, and the questions to ask in order to determine if a statement is applicable.


We’ve seen this movie before; the Fed lowered rates to nearly zero again, this time in response to the economic slowdown due to COVID-19. With reserves set aside since the Great Recession, sales and property taxes holding up for now, and CARES dollars coming in for some, what strategies work in a low rate environment and what should investors be buying? In this session, we will examine a bit of history as well as look at the current interest rate environment to come up with strategies that will facilitate the preservation of principal and provide a little interest income.

At the end of this session, attendees will understand both the Fed and Treasury’s roles, have reviewed the risks associated with investing, and analyze cashflow to determine the best buckets for investments.


The session is intended to review the best practices for post-issuance compliance with Federal law requirements that apply to tax-exempt bonds. The presenter will discuss her experiences as a tax practitioner in the tax-exempt bond area as she has frequent contact with the IRS in audit and non-audit contexts.

At the end of this session, attendees should have an understanding of their Federal law compliance responsibilities after issuing tax-exempt debt and of strategies that may be used to meet them.


To register for the entire seminar, click the button below and select all sessions. If you’d like to attend an individual session, click the button directly below the course description.

Register for Entire Seminar 

You will receive your CPE credits directly following the training but if you don’t receive them within a week, please let us know. Presentations will be available for download and distributed via email.
Public Trust Advisors, LLC is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org/complaint-process.

Marcelo is a Credit Research Analyst for Public Trust where he is responsible for the fundamental credit analysis of corporate issuers through due diligence, sector and issuer research, conducting proprietary analysis, and writing reports for new initiations as well as credit reviews for the healthcare, energy, and consumer discretionary sectors. Prior to joining Public Trust, he most recently held the position of Credit Research Analyst for Great-West Financial where he performed fundamental credit analysis and reviews on investment-grade corporate issuers and provided rating change recommendation. Marcelo additionally worked for CenturyLink as a Lead Financial Analyst and S&P Global Market Intelligence as a Financial Research Analyst. He received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the Metropolitan State University of Denver, is a CFA charterholder, and is a member of both the CFA Society of Colorado and the CFA Institute.

Mark is a Managing Director and Senior Economist at Wells Fargo Securities, LLC where he is responsible for tracking U.S. and regional economic Trends. He writes for the company’s Monthly Economic Outlook report as well as the Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary, and he provides regular updates on the housing markets, commercial real estate, regional economies, consumer spending, and issues impacting small business. He has been with Wells Fargo since 1993 and before that spent nine years as an Economist for Barnett Banks. Mark received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from the University of Georgia and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Florida. He is a member of the American Economic Association and the Western Economic Association.

Greg is the President and CEO of SAFEChecks, a check fraud prevention business that offers high-security checks, fraud-prevention software, educational seminars, expert witnesses, and consulting services. Since its founding in 1996, SAFEChecks has never had a check replicated or used in a scam. He also works for Frank H. Abagnale and Associates as the Co-Editor of their Fraud Bulletin that covers check fraud, cybercrime, wire fraud, ACH fraud, mobile banking fraud, Check 21, embezzlement, and more. He previously worked for Imperial Bank as a Senior Vice President and Manager and for Union Bank as an Assistant Vice President. His writing has been featured in many publications and he has served as an expert witness on more than ten cases. Greg received both a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Master of Business Administration from Brigham Young University.

Liz is the founder and President of Nutshell Associates, an organization that helps public finance debt issuers interact confidently with the capital markets to maximize ratings and investor confidence. Prior to this, Liz served as a Managing Director at S&P Global Ratings where she conducted objective, in-depth credit evaluations of borrowers across the public finance spectrum, providing insightful opinions about the strategic, financial, and operational risks of public finance borrowers. She also served in a senior credit policy and risk management role as S&P’s criteria officer for U.S. Public Finance. Liz received a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University, a Master of Business Administration from NYU’s Stern School of Business, and a Certificate in Healthcare Management from NYU’s School of Professional Studies. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Maryland Medical System and the XBLR State and Local Government Disclosure Modernization workgroup.

A.J. is a Partner at Carr, Riggs, & Ingram, LLC where he has provided audit services to numerous government entities during his twelve years of experience. He now oversees all services provided to government-industry clients. A.J. is a regular presenter on a variety of industry topics including OMB Uniform Guidance, updates to GASB Standards, and government accounting best practices for entities such as NM ASBO, regional AGA Chapters, and clients and non-clients in state and local government. A.J. is a Certified Information Technology Professional, a CPA, and a member of the GFOA Special Revenue Committee.

Laura is a Director of Investment Advisory Services for Public Trust based in Atlanta, Georgia, where she is responsible for providing individually tailored and customized investment management, administrative, and advisory solutions to public sector entities across the U.S. Prior to joining Public Trust, Laura most recently served as a Portfolio Manager for the State of Georgia where she was responsible for the management of the State’s commingled LGIP, served on the Office of State Treasurer Investment Committee, and was the point person for fund distribution for hundreds of state and local government clients. Laura received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Auburn University and is a CFA charterholder. She is an active member and former president of the Government Investment Officers Association (GIOA) and a frequent expert panelist on LGIPs at the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) and GIOA Conferences. Laura led the states response to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) exposure draft on GASB Statement 79 regarding external investment pools and pool participants.

Barbara League

Barbara provides tax advice for Orrick in connection with tax-exempt financing transactions for cities, counties, states, school districts, housing authorities, higher education authorities, and state agencies among others. Prior to Orrick, Barbara worked as an attorney with the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service where she represented clients before the IRS in a variety of matters such as tax-exempt bonds, audits, and private letter ruling requests. She has significant experience representing nonprofit organizations and has participated in all facets of the tax analysis associated with the issuance of governmental purpose bonds, certain tax credit bonds, and qualified small issue bonds. Barbara served on the Steering Committee and has chaired the Working Capital panel and the Bond Direct Purchase Advanced Tax Topics panel for the Bond Attorneys’ Workshop.