Michael D. Belsky is the Executive Director of the Center for Municipal Finance at Harris and teaches a course on the fundamentals of municipal bonds as part of the Municipal Finance Certificate Program. Mr. Belsky is also the Managing Director for Fixed Income at Greenwich Investment Management a firm specializing in High Yield Municipal Bonds. Prior to joining the firm he worked in the municipal finance industry for over 30 years. From 2009 to 2011 he developed a credit review process for Chicago-based C.W. Henderson and Associates, a $3 billion municipal bond investment advisory firm.
Mr. Belsky spent most of his career as Group Managing Director of the Public Finance Group at Fitch Ratings. He worked at the rating agency from 1993 to 2008 and was named top rating agency executive in public finance by institutional investors three years in a row (Smith’s Research and Ratings Review Municipal All Star Team, 2005–07).
Mr. Belsky began his career in 1984 as a municipal bond analyst at the Northern Trust Company. He subsequently worked as a municipal bond underwriter and as a public finance investment banker. In 1989 he established and began managing a public finance department for Mesirow Financial, a regional investment bank in Chicago.
Mr. Belsky also served two terms as a member of the City Council in Highland Park, Illinois (1995–2003), and two terms as mayor (2003–11). Under his leadership the city received national recognition in the areas of environmental sustainability, budgeting, financial reporting, affordable housing and local health initiatives. The city maintained a triple-A rating by Moody’s Investors Service throughout his tenure.
From 2008 to 2011 Mr. Belsky was a member of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, a national body that sets accounting and financial reporting standards for state and local governments.
Mr. Belsky is a recognized expert in municipal finance and has spoken at numerous conferences and seminars, including at Bloomberg and the Greenwich Round Table. He was recently asked by the SEC to testify as an expert in hearings on secondary market disclosure in the municipal bond market. He has lectured on public finance at Northwestern University, the LBJ School at the University of Texas, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, the Graduate Program in City Management at Northern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois. Mr. Belsky received a BA in urban studies from Lake Forest College and an MA in public policy from the University of Chicago.