The Illinois Finance Authority board this week reappointed Chis Meister as the IFA’s executive director.
Meister has worked for the authority since 2007 and has served as its executive director since December 2009. His next term as executive director will end in December 2017. Prior to joining the IFA in 2007 as its general counsel, Meister was the legislative director and associate general counsel for the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. He has also worked as an attorney at the law firms Holland & Knight LLP, Clausen Miller PC and Pavalon & Gifford. Meister began his legal career as a clerk for Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Ann McMorrow.
Under Meister’s direction, the IFA over the last year issued $4.48 billion in federally tax-exempt conduit bonds on behalf of more than 37 borrowers. More than 40 percent of those bonds represented new investment and construction in capital infrastructure, according to IFA documents.
In August, Presence Health closed on a $1 billion bond sale that the Illinois Finance Authority facilitated. The Chicago Tribune explained the sale was the largest BBB-rated, not-for-profit health care transaction ever sold in that sector of the municipal market. Funding from the sale helped the 11-hospital, Chicago-based Catholic health system refinance its debt while saving $49 million over the life of the loan. The bond sale provided much-needed financial relief fo rthe system that has faced significant financial challenges in recent years.
Other projects supported by IFA conduit bonds in the last year include a state-wide clean water initiative from the Illinois EPA, Chicago’s DePaul and Adler universities, and a number of health care projects throughout the state.