The Washington School Board has selected a new firm for bond issue underwriting services.

At its June 27 meeting, the board approved a three-year contract with Stifel Nicholas, effective July 1.

The district has used George K. Baum for many years.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said it’s important to have a good working relationship with the underwriter.

An underwriter is used for new issue bonds; to monitor the proper time to call, refinance or refund outstanding bonds; or execute a bond defeasance.

VanLeer said five firms submitted proposals. Three firms — LJ Hart, Stifel Nicholas and George K. Baum — were selected for one-hour interviews/presentations June 26.

“All firms submitted detailed proposals and provided insight to the proposal review team and interview team,” she said. “Stifel’s presentation, led by Lorenzo Boyd, was the most detailed and thorough.”

The board approved utilizing Stifel which utilizes a standardized fee schedule for Missouri school district clients based on analysis of the most cost-effective interest rate execution.

VanLeer said all proposals and firms proved reputable.

“The proposal review team and interview team took multiple factors into consideration upon selecting a firm,” she said. “Those factors included the firm’s analysis of the current market, pricing and fees, analysis of the district’s debt, the firm’s capital and financial capacity, professionalism of staff, along with other related services.

The other two firms that submitted proposals were Piper Jaffray and Hilltop Securities.