- David Seltzer, Principal, co-founded Mercator Advisors in 2001 with Bryan Grote. He has over 35 years of experience in public and project finance, advising governmental issuers on finance strategies and assembling debt financings. David spent two decades in public finance/investment banking, where he assembled and advised on transportation and infrastructure financings for E.F. Hutton, Lazard Frères and Lehman Brothers. He subsequently served as in-house financial advisor to the Federal Highway Administrator regarding development and implementation of “innovative financing” initiatives, including TEA-21 finance provisions (1996-1999). He played a central role in conceptualizing and implementing USDOT’s TIFIA credit program. At Mercator, David has advised on both specific transactions and federal and state policy initiatives.
- David has taught graduate-level courses in finance and accounting at the Wharton School and the Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania and for the University of Southern California. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board and has served as Chairman of the Board, Philadelphia Gas Works since 2008. David also serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. David received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from Trinity College and a Master of Business Administration in Municipal Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Bryan has 25 years of experience in government finance and infrastructure policy.
As a Principal of Mercator Advisors, he works with state and local governments as well as federal agencies to develop, implement and assess transportation policies and finance programs. Utilizing his background in federal budget issues, credit policies and finance tools, Bryan performs a broad range of financial policy analyses for various government agencies and stakeholder groups.
- Previously Bryan served as senior advisor to the USDOT’s Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs and Chief Financial Officer. In that capacity he coordinated legislative proposals, financial policies, special projects and new programs for the USDOT – including the design and implementation of the TIFIA credit assistance program. Bryan was the first director of the TIFIA Joint Program Office and continues to advise project sponsors on federal credit assistance and other innovative financing tools. He also assists clients with evaluating new federal policies, financing strategies and legislative proposals that can support their investment initiatives.
- Bryan was a member of the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission authorized in SAFETEA-LU and he has served on the board of the Public-Private Partnerships Division of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association and on the Taxation and Finance Committee of the Transportation Research Board. Bryan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of North Carolina and a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.
- Jim joined Mercator Advisors as a Principal in 2006. With previous experience as an investment banker for a total of 19 years at Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Smith Barney, his expertise is in developing non-recourse project finance strategies for transportation infrastructure. Jim leads Mercator’s financial advisory team that has assisted the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in developing and executing the finance plan for the $5.7 billion Dulles Corridor Metrorail (Silver Line) Project. Over the past six years, more than $3.0 billion of long-term debt backed by Dulles Toll Road revenues has been issued to help finance the project, including $1.7 billion of toll revenue bonds and a $1.3 billion junior-lien TIFIA loan. The $963 million inaugural bond transaction was named The Bond Buyer’s “2009 Deal of the Year.”
- Previously Jim served as one of the lead bankers for a private consortium that was selected by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to develop, construct and operate a new international air passenger terminal at Kennedy International Airport. The $934 million transaction was selected by Institutional Investor magazine as a “1997 Deal of the Year.” Jim was responsible for quantitative analysis and rating agency strategy for a $654 million non-recourse financing in 1995 and a debt restructuring of $822 million in 1997 for the E-470 Toll Road (Denver, CO). The first transaction was selected by Institutional Investor magazine as a “1995 Deal of the Year.” Jim was a lead banker for private not-for-profit organizations created to construct and operate toll facilities in South Carolina (Southern Connector) and Virginia (Pocahontas Parkway) and he has structured debt financings for private toll roads in California, Texas and Virginia.
- Jim has developed and managed professional training programs in municipal finance and has given lectures, seminars and workshops on various project finance topics for industry groups and business schools. He helped develop the initial curriculum for the annual Wharton Transportation Executive Program organized by the AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance. Jim received a Bachelor of Science degree in Humanities from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
- Catherine joined Mercator Advisors in 2008 as a Senior Associate and became a Principal of the firm in 2019. Her practice at Mercator includes both policy work related to revenue and financing mechanisms, as well as directly assisting state and local agencies with putting those tools into practice to advance major infrastructure projects. She provides project management and analytical support for the firm’s project finance and infrastructure development initiatives. Catherine creates customized quantitative tools and data visualizations to help clients quickly understand quantitative information and utilize it to guide decision making and advance projects. She has also developed and facilitated professional trainings on P3s and other finance topics for diverse audiences.
- Catherine is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Revenue and Finance and Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) International. Previously employed by Bear Stearns in public finance investment banking, she specialized in project finance and infrastructure development transactions for corporate, electric cooperative, and public power entities. She continues to follow developments in areas of infrastructure finance outside of transportation, including energy and telecommunications. Catherine volunteers for and serves on the board of Philadelphia City Rowing, a non-profit rowing program for Philadelphia public school students. Catherine received Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Administration – Public Finance degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
- Max joined Mercator Advisors in 2007 as Senior Advisor for Project Finance and Program Management Initiatives. He has an extensive background in surface transportation policies and practices and broad knowledge of the Federal Aid Highway Program and the operation of state transportation agencies. Max was previously employed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for 33 years, including 12 years as Chief of the Federal Aid Financial Management Division. At FHWA, Max developed and administered grant financial policy for the Federal Aid Highway Program and directed FHWA’s innovative finance programs, with responsibility for reviewing GARVEE bonds, State Infrastructure Banks and public-private partnerships. Max also served in an interim capacity as Director of the Office of Fiscal Services, Chief of the TIFIA Joint Program Office and FHWA Budget Officer.
- Max received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina.