Karen L. Walker, senior advisor for public private partnerships at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will be joining Siebert Brandford Shank & Company LLC as managing director and head of the firm’s Chicago office effective April 15.
Walker served as the CTA’s CFO & treasurer from 2009 to early 2013 where her responsibilities included overseeing a $1.3 billion annual operating budget, a $3 billion capital program and a $300 million investment portfolio. She also served as a trustee for the $1.8 billion CTA’s Retirement Fund.
While CFO Walker secured more than $1 billion in capital financings, structured and executed $540 million in interest rate basis swaps and routinely executed fuel swaps which succeeded in reducing the authority’s energy costs by 25 percent. The CTA operates the second largest public transportation system in the U.S.
Prior to joining CT, Walker served as director of financial services for the Illinois Finance Authority.
Walker also has private sector municipal finance experience having been a managing director in the municipal securities departments at A.G. Edwards & Sons and Banc of America Securities LLC for several years.
“The hiring of Karen Walker is a significant addition to our firm and reaffirms SBSCO’s commitment to the Midwest region,” said Suzanne Shank, president of Siebert Brandford Shank. “Karen’s extensive experience, especially as CFO of one of the nation’s largest mass transit systems is a wonderful complement to our top ranked transportation group.”
Walker, who is a CPA, earned a B.S. in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and an MBA with a concentration in finance from the Anderson School, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).