Janney brings on Citi’s Cheng; Ortiz heads to higher ed advisory group

Janney Montgomery Scott LLC has hired Citi’s Alice Cheng to replace Erin Ortiz, who has moved into a new role for the firm’s Higher Education & Not-for-Profit Advisory Group.

The advisory group is tasked with providing insights regarding capital and debt planning and management, credit analysis and strategy to higher education and non-for-profit institutions. In her new position, Ortiz will “provide insight on rating agency management and the credit and debt capacity impact of various strategies,” according to a release from Janney.

Ortiz started at Janney as a managing director, credit analyst in municipal research, serving issuers and the firm’s institutional buy side clients.

Alice Cheng joins Janney Montgomery Scott from Citi.

Cheng will fill Ortiz’s former position, joining the firm as a vice president and credit analyst tasked with working “with public finance, trading/underwriting and the sales verticals of Janney’s Municipal franchise,” according to the release from Janney. Her experience includes time at Citi’s Institutional Clients Group, Kroll Bond Rating Agency and Ambac Assurance.

“I’m thrilled to have Alice at the firm. She brings an excellent skill set that will be very beneficial to the municipal group,” Ortiz said in the release.

Cheng, a 2018 Bond Buyer Rising Star, has over 10 years of experience in the industry, covering municipal credits across asset classes, including general obligation, tax and revenue-backed debt, healthcare, utilities, infrastructure, transportation, and various P3 projects.

Before joining Citi, Cheng worked at Kroll Bond Rating Agency as a rating analyst in the Public Finance team for six years. She also worked in the Public Finance Portfolio Risk Management Group at Ambac. Before switching gears to become a municipal finance professional, Cheng spent a few years at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Cheng has been a board member of the Northeast Women in Public Finance (NEWPF) since 2017. Through her involvement in the NEWPF Mentoring Program Committee, she has been an advocate for building allyship and connecting young professionals to experienced industry veterans. Cheng is currently the Co-Chair of the NEWPF Mentoring Program. In 2021, Cheng served on the Women in Public Finance (WPF) Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee.

Ortiz is now an official member of the Advisory Group, but since joining Janney in 2017, she aided and collaborated with the team intermittently to publish monthly articles on higher education and finance.

“The higher education advisory practice has seen strong growth since the team joined Janney at the end of 2018,” Ortiz said. “I’m really excited to be on the team working with such a great group of people to use my prior experiences in the higher education sector to serve our clients and help grow the business.”

Before Moody’s, Ortiz worked at New York University, managing the financial, programmatic, and business operations for an academic center and serving as a healthcare consultant to academic medical centers and nonprofit hospitals.

Ortiz still chairs the Philadelphia Area Municipal Analyst Society and sits on the National Federation of Municipal Analysts’ Board of Governors. She also co-chairs the NFMA’s Industry Practices committee, representing the federation’s opinions on key issues in the municipal market to the SEC and MSRB.

Ortiz said she joined Janney in part to gain “more generalized municipal experience,” but her internal transfer to the Advisory Group and its “team-oriented” work allows her to go back to her roots in higher education. 

Established in 2018, the Advisory Group includes several professionals with extensive knowledge of and experience in the higher education sector who provide partner institutions with financial advisory services.

Fellow Managing Director Mary Jane Darby leads the Advisory Group, which also includes Managing Director Robert Kanzer, Director James Still and Associate Emily Wu.