Banking News

HJ Sims Expands Investment Banking Group with Introduction of Public Finance Education Practice

HJ Sims Expands Investment Banking Group with Introduction of Public Finance Education Practice

HJ Sims (Sims), a privately held investment bank and wealth management firm founded in 1935, is pleased to announce the addition of two senior bankers, expanding the firm’s public finance education practice. The Sims public finance education team provides comprehensive capital planning, structure and execution for charter schools, public and private education systems and institutions.

Richard (Rich) Harmon joins Sims as Executive Managing Director, Head of Public Finance Education to lead the firm’s group, providing taxable and tax-exempt financing, as well as solutions for early stage capital, for education organizations nationwide. Rich brings 30+ years’ experience in investment and commercial banking, having first launched his profession with Lancaster Pollard. Throughout his career, Rich has dedicated his work to education and built one of the leading charter school investment banking practices in the country. He most recently served as Head of Public Finance with BB&T Capital Markets/Truist Securities. Rich earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics at Denison University and a J.D. degree from Capital University Law School. Rich is based in Columbus, Ohio.

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Robert (Rob) Nickell joins Sims as Executive Vice President, further developing the public finance education practice. Rob began his investment banking career as an analyst at Wells Fargo over 20 years ago. Since then, he has been a major driver in partnering with Rich to develop one of the preeminent charter school practices nationwide. Rob earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Emory University and his MBA from The University of Texas. Based in Dallas, TX, Rob also actively works on the West Coast.

“We are thrilled that Rich Harmon and Rob Nickell have joined Sims to grow our education practice. Sims has a long history of working with organizations that are committed to serving others in need, and share in our core values that are the hallmark of Sims. Rich and Rob are passionate about expanding and improving the quality of education, particularly for those children that are most vulnerable, and helping their communities flourish,” said Aaron Rulnick, Managing Principal, HJ Sims.

Rulnick continued, “Rich and Rob have a strong history of building great teams, which is in large part due to their exceptional reputations and relationships in the education sector. We look forward to the industry knowledge and financing expertise that Rich and Rob bring to Sims and to working closely with them to build out our education practice.”

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As one of America’s pioneering financial services firms and well-known for its taxable and tax-exempt municipal financings in the senior living sector, this major expansion of Sims’ education practice supports the firm’s commitment to enriching communities, organizations and the lives of its clients. “The entire Sims organization, particularly the firm’s private wealth team, are eager to work with Rich and Rob broadening the market for charter school bonds. We are deeply committed to serving our clients with dedication, knowledge, passion and integrity,” said William Sims, Managing Principal, HJ Sims.

“With our expert underwriting team, strong institutional and private client distribution networks, and the addition of two such highly regarded bankers, Sims is well-positioned and committed to meeting the needs of our clients in the education sector,” said Jeffrey Sands, Managing Principal, HJ Sims. “Our dedicated team of financial professionals anticipate partnering with our education sector clients to deliver the innovative financing solutions we are so proud to execute for all clients. Our greatest pride is being a true partner in our clients’ success. We know Rich and Rob share this sentiment,” said Sands.

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