Mercator Advisors has extensive experience working with federal assistance programs – especially federal credit programs such as TIFIA.While we offer consulting services in various sectors, our core practice is in transportation finance. One of Mercator's distinguishing features is our ability to integrate federal policies and programs with capital markets initiatives. We draw upon substantial federal experience to help clients make effective use of the USDOT tool box (TIFIA, SIBs, SEP-15, PABs, GARVEEs, etc.) in developing and implementing project financial plans. We also have advised federal agencies – including the USDOT as well as the Department of Education, the Rural Utilities Service and the Transportation Security Administration – in designing, managing and evaluating financial assistance programs for major capital projects.
Mercator principals David Seltzer and Bryan Grote helped conceive, develop and implement USDOT’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) credit assistance program. Bryan Grote was the first TIFIA director at USDOT. Mercator remains at the forefront of issues related to TIFIA financing and other federal credit and tax incentives. We frequently are requested by agency officials and congressional staff to provide our unbiased analysis of proposed or pending legislation and policies.
Project Finance and Public Private Partnerships
Mercator has served as financial advisor to governmental, corporate and non-profit sponsors of infrastructure projects. Our principal focus is the transportation sector; representative engagements have included a marine cargo facility acquisition, a major new transit line, and a state turnpike authority capital program.
Mercator professionals have helped develop numerous transportation infrastructure projects from the initial concept through permitting, design, financing, construction, and operation. We are intimately familiar with the unique challenges associated with Public Private Partnership (P3) projects. We provide clients with expert advice and guidance on potential financial and policy decisions to facilitate the development of specific projects and innovative finance programs.
Policy Analysis and Research
Mercator helps clients evaluate the practical application of various finance approaches, such as concessions and tax credit bonds, and assists with the development of enabling legislation and public-private partnership programs. We have undertaken research and prepared reports for a broad array of government agencies and project sponsors.
As a specialized provider of financial analyses and strategic consulting services, we spend much of our time preparing and disseminating materials relating to transportation finance and policy issues. Some of this work is project-oriented and involves explanations of project development issues and financial plan features for the benefit of project sponsors, rating analysts, insurers, investors and other stakeholders. We also analyze proposed legislation and financing programs for planning agencies, non-profit advocacy groups and policy makers (at the federal, state and local level). For example, Mercator has prepared and presented technical reports on financing transportation projects with private activity bonds, tax credit bonds, and federal loans and guarantees for industry groups such as the Airports Council International – North America, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Public Transportation Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Mercator has assisted various USDOT agencies and offices with education, outreach and training programs for state and local transportation agencies through initiatives such as the Center for Excellence in Project Finance and the Project Finance Institute.