Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced appointees to the Long Island Power Authority utility debt securitization board.
The new board members are Paul Francis, who is a senior fellow of the Guarini Center on Environmental and Land Use Law at NYU law school; Bruce Levy a principal and President of Oak Ridge Power LLC, a power project development and advisory firm; and Robert Gurman, Chief Financial Officer of Pocono Manor Investors. Gurman is also a Principal of Gurman Capital Group, LLC, an independent financial advisor focused primarily on the project finance sector, and also serves as Managing Director and Chief Credit Officer of Mariner Infrastructure Investment Management.
The three-member board will serve terms no longer than six years.
The utility debt securitization is part of several cost cutting measures LIPA is considering to reduce its debt.
Since the late 1990s, LIPA’s debt has not decreased and represents about 10% of ratepayer bills. In June New York State introduced the LIPA Reform Act, which established the Utility Debt Security Authority to refinance a portion of its almost $7 billion in debt at a lower interest rate.
According to a Long Island Newsday report, in September LIPA announced plans to restructure only $1.5 billion of its debt via the securitization market “because interest rates are rising, and only a certain amount of the debt can be securitized favorably.”