Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Meet the manager: Jeffrey Burger

  • Tweet
  • Share on LinkedIn
  • Share via email
  • Print
  • Download

April 2024

Insight Investment senior portfolio manager Jeffrey Burger reflects on the varied role of asset managers and the importance of municipal finance to US infrastructure development and global investors.

Jeffrey Burger

Jeffrey Burger

Jeffrey Burger is a senior portfolio manager for US municipal bond strategies at Insight Investment. He is responsible for managing US municipal bond strategies for institutional, high net worth and mutual fund clients. Jeffrey joined Insight in September 2021 following the transition of Mellon Investments’ fixed income strategies to the firm. He has been in the investment industry since 1998 and joined Mellon Investments in 2009 as a senior analyst. Previously, Jeffrey worked at Columbia Management as a portfolio manager and at Fitch Ratings as a senior-level analyst.


What is your current role and how did this develop?

At Insight I am a senior portfolio manager for US municipal bond strategies with a wide range of responsibilities. My background is in credit which remains a core component of my skill set in my role as a portfolio manager. First and foremost, as part of a dedicated team, I work to develop strategies to meet our clients’ desired outcomes. I also help design strategy based on individual client objectives and risk constraints.

A major part of my responsibility is interfacing with our global audience. That is particularly important because US municipal bonds are a relatively under researched asset class for many non-US investors. Communicating and sharing information on this market with those who may be less familiar with the sector is something I take very seriously.

How did you first get involved in the investment business?

Originally, I grew up in the Washington DC area. By virtue of the fact that so much of government is based there and so many related decisions are taken there, governance and finance became major points of interest for me and important aspects of my background. I initially went to college to study public administration. Through my graduate studies I learned about the world of public finance and the importance of public sector funding through state and local government debt issuance.

After studying I was very fortunate that one of the bond rating agencies, Fitch Ratings, was looking for talent and I was able to secure a job with them straight out of graduate school. That was almost 25 years ago. Since then I have dedicated my entire career to what I believe is a fascinating world of municipal finance.

What do you like most about working in asset management?

One of the things I particularly love about municipal finance is the essential purpose it serves, funding vitally important infrastructure projects, maintenance and renewal. I also like the fact that this asset class is a core fixed income asset class which can present investors with fixed income type returns and risks, and which can allow them to feel good that they are funding important infrastructure projects.

How would you characterize your style as a portfolio manager?

My style is very collaborative and I believe consistency of process is important. In terms of individual bond selection, I never lose sight of why our clients have entrusted our firm with their money. Municipal bond finance can provide a relatively high yield with a high level of safety. If you stay committed to that very basic principle, that will help guide your bond selection, duration management and how you balance opportunities and risks. As a portfolio manager – working as part of a dedicated and highly experienced team – I look for bonds that are either overpriced or underpriced at any given time. The task is to try to find opportunities to generate alpha by identifying mispriced opportunities in the market.

What can municipal bonds offer fixed income investors?

Municipal bonds are long established. In fact, the first municipal bond in the US was a general obligation bond issued by the City of New York for a canal in 1812. Municipal bonds form part of a truly relative value market and rarely, if ever, default. We favor revenue bonds, which can offer dedicated streams of revenue to support the repayment of debt. They are generally associated with core essential service infrastructure, so play an important role in our everyday lives.

How optimistic are you about the US municipal bond market?

I am optimistic about market prospects in the sector for a number of reasons.

Firstly, if you look at changes in the interest rate environment over the last 18 months we have seen clear signs of dislocations in the global economy, which could favor the municipal bond asset class. Historically, municipal bonds have been very strong, stable securities during periods of economic challenges. These bonds tend to hold up very well from a credit perspective during times of market stress, in large part because of the essential nature of the asset class.

We are also seeing a strong evolution on the buy-side of this asset class. As more overseas investors become aware of what municipal bonds can offer and the investor base expands beyond US shores, we believe municipal bonds could see a boost to performance.

All investments involve some level of risk, including loss of principal. Certain investments have specific or unique risks. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee returns or eliminate risk in any market environment.

This material has been provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular investment product, strategy, investment manager or account arrangement, and should not serve as a primary basis for investment decisions. Prospective investors should consult a legal, tax or financial professional in order to determine whether any investment product, strategy or service is appropriate for their particular circumstances. Views expressed are those of the author stated and do not reflect views of other managers or the firm overall. Views are current as of the date of this publication and subject to change. This information contains projections or other forward -looking statements regarding future events, targets or expectations, and is only current as of the date indicated. There is no assurance that such events or expectations will be achieved, and actual results may be significantly different from that shown here. The information is based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. References to specific securities, asset classes and financial markets are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be and should not be interpreted as recommendations. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission.

Bonds are subject to interest rate, credit, liquidity, call and market risks, to varying degrees. Generally, all other factors being equal, bond prices are inversely related to interest-rate changes and rate increases can cause price declines.

BNY Mellon Investment Management is one of the world’s leading investment management organizations, encompassing BNY Mellon’s affiliated investment management firms and global distribution companies. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation and may also be used as a generic term to reference the Corporation as a whole or its various subsidiaries generally.

Investment advisory services in North America are provided by Insight North America LLC, a registered investment adviser and regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Insight North America LLC is associated with other global investment managers that also (individually and collectively) use the corporate brand Insight Investment and may be referred to as “Insight” or “Insight Investment.”

Insight and BNY Mellon Securities Corporation are subsidiaries of BNY Mellon.

© 2024 BNY Mellon Securities Corporation, distributor, 240 Greenwich Street, 9th Floor, New York NY, 10286.

Not FDIC-Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value