George Friedlander has rejoined Citigroup as head of municipal strategy.
In 2008, Friedlander, who started working at Citi in 1975, joined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney — which was created when Morgan Stanley bought a 51% stake in Citigroup’s wealth management division.
Two years later, Friedlander was among the 200 people laid off as part of the joint venture’s restructuring.
The firm announced Tuesday that Friedlander had joined the Citi investment research and analysis, or CIRA, group, less than two months after being dismissed from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.
Friedlander has written a report on the municipal market nearly every week for more than 30 years.
He reports to Matt King, global head of credit strategy.
In a company memo, Richard Pagan, managing director of CIRA, and Ward Marsh, managing director of the municipal securities division, said Friedlander will build a full-service municipal securities strategy unit within the firm’s consolidated research group.
“We are delighted that he has now decided to re-join Citi,” Pagan and Marsh wrote. “From this position he will be able to serve both U.S. retail and global institutional clients, as the asset class itself attracts a more global investor base.”
The “global investor base” phrase presumably refers to the foreign investors buying Build America Bonds — the taxable municipal securities created under last year’s stimulus legislation.
Foreign investors owned $71.9 billion in municipal bonds at the end of the first quarter, according to the Federal Reserve, or 2.5% of the $2.8 trillion in municipal debt outstanding.
At the end of the first quarter in 2009, foreigners owned $40 billion, or 1.5% of the market.
Friedlander graduated from the New York State University at Stony Brook with a degree in mathematics, and earned a master’s in business administration from Pace University in New York.