Jan 7, 2020
DENVER - On Tuesday, the City and County of Denver’s Department of Finance released a Request for Information, soliciting ideas from financial services firms to assist with the development and issuance of small denomination general obligation bonds, known as mini-bonds, under the Elevate Denver Bond Program. In 2020, the City aims to sell at least $12 million worth of mini-bonds to provide an accessible investment opportunity for local investors and secure funding for infrastructure improvements approved by constituents in 2017.
Denver has issued mini-bonds five times since 1990, with the most recent transaction in 2014 under the Better Denver Bond Program. The 2014 mini-bond sale totaled $12 million with two separate maturity dates, one in 2023 and the other in 2028. Only Colorado residents could purchase the 2014 mini-bonds, sold in denominations of $500. These features allowed individual, local investors the opportunity to benefit from Better Denver. Demand in 2014 was so great that the mini-bonds sold out in under 20 minutes.
“Denver maintains AAA credit ratings, the highest ratings an institution can receive, due to our strong financial management practices,” said Brendan Hanlon, Chief Financial Officer for the City. “Mini-bonds are an investment opportunity for residents to contribute to our city’s infrastructure. Access to this highly rated, tax-exempt security allows residents to grow and diversify their own investment portfolios.”
The City is interested in exploring new and innovative financing structures to sell the 2020 Elevate Denver mini-bonds while preserving key features of the previous mini-bond issuances, like small denominations, the Colorado residency criteria, and no-fee bond orders. Committed to equity and economic mobility, the City hopes to foster financial education, wealth building, and money management among Denver communities through the proposed mini-bond issuance.