Goldman, Sachs & Co. handily maintained its position as the top lead manager for the first half of 1992, managing 175 issues totaling $15.23 billion, according to Securities Data Co./Bond Buyer.

Goldman Sachs's total accounted for 13.6% of the $111.79 billion of municipal bonds sold in the first half of 1992, helping the firm easily outdistance its closest competitor, Merrill Lynch & Co., which ranked second with an 8.7% market share. Merrill underwrote $9.72 billion.

Goldman Sachs also was the top lead manager for all of 1991, with 277 issues totaling $20.7 billion.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe was the leading bond counsel for the half, with 146 issues totaling $8.25 billion. Public Resources Advisory Group was the top financial adviser, with 51 issues totaling $6.48 billion.

Goldman Sachs dominated several sectors during the first half, gaining the top berth for negotiated, competitive, general obligation, and revenue bond offerings during the period.

The firm maintained its first standing by winning the year's biggest bond issue to date, a $1.39 billion California GO bond sale on Feb. 19. The deal was also the largest competitive offering.

Goldman's success with the California sale illustrates the firm's "renewed and more intense effort in the competitive market," said David C. Clapp, partner in charge of the municipal bond department at Goldman.

Mr. Clapp pointed to the firm's push for competitive deals, a strong customer base, favorable market technicals and the growth of derivative products as key to its continued strong performance.

"We've had a market over the last two years that's been amazingly benign," Mr. Clapp said, explaining that underwriters have benefited from the decline in interest rates that has spurred issuers to bring new deals, call bonds, and refund issues.

Merril Is Top Co-Manager

While Merrill ranked second among senior managers, the firm nudged ahead of Goldman Sachs to serve as the top co-manager during the first half, with 617 issues totaling $36.92 billion. Co-manager rankings give full credit to every manager of an issue.

Goldman Sachs, in second place was co-manager of $35.77 billion. It was followed by Lehman Brothers, with $34.1 billion, Smith Barney Harris Upham & Co., with $28.84 billion, and PaineWebber Inc., with $24.55 billion.

New York city was the leading issuer of long-term bonds for the first half of 1992, with six issues totaling $2.1 billion. The city's largest deal was a $750 million general obligation offering on May 21. It also was the second-largest bond deal overall. Goldman Sachs was senior manager of the offering.

Orrick Herrington took first place among bond counsel, a spot it has held since 1989. It is followed by Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon, with $5.03 billion, and Hawkins, Delafield & Wood, with $4.84 billion.

Public Resources, to financial adviser for the first half, also finished first for all of 1991. The firm returns to the top post it relinquished in the first quarter to Lazard Freres & Co. Lazard Freres now drops to second with $5.57 billion. Philadelphia-based Public Financial Management Inc. is third, with 4.96 billion.

Lehman Holds Short End

In the short-term sector, Lehman Brothers kept a strong grip on the top slot it held from the previous quarter. With 35 deals totaling $3.38 billion, it enjoyed a 19.4% market share.

Bear Stearns & Co. ranked second, with seven deals totaling $2.8 billion. The firm moved up from its sixth place position in the previous quarter by serving as lead manager of the largest note issue this year to date, a $2.3 billion New York state note deal on April 23. Bear Stearns was followed by Morgan Stanley & Co., with 10 deals totaling $2.03 billion; and Goldman Sachs, with seven deals totaling $1.16 billion.

A number of factors helped Lehman held onto the first place slot it has occupied since 1990.

"I think it was a combination of our involvement in the negotiated market in California and the competitive side of the market," said Frank Murphy, manager of short-term products at the firm. He pointed out that Lehman was senior manager of the first quarter's largest note issue, a $2 billion California offering on Feb. 25.

Lehman's deals included the first quarter's third largest note issue: a $500 million Illinois sale on Feb. 6. The firm also senior managed a $181 million piece of a $531 million New York State issue on March 25 and won $400 million of a $475 million California warrant sale on June 23.

Lehman also may be a hot contender for the top slot in the third quarter, when the firm is slated to be senior manager for an estimated $5 billion California short-term offering, Mr. Murphy said.

O'Melveny & Myers forged ahead of Marilyn Garcia to rank first among bond counsel for note sales for the first half of 1992. During the previous quarter, O'Melveny was tied with Marilyn Garcia, now second, having served as adviser to California's $2 billion note deal.

Brown & Wood rounded out the top three bond counsel, with $1.56 billion.

Public Resources was the top financial adviser, with five deals totaling $2.5 billion. Its work on the $2 billion California offering helped the firm maintain its first-place standing from the previous quarter. It was followed by Evensen-Dodge Inc., with $581 million, and Chase Manhattan Securities, with $531 million.

New York was the top note issuer during the quarter, with six deals totaling $2.9 billion. California ranked second, with three deals totaling $2.48 billion.

Security Data Co.'s bond rankings are based on long-term issues maturing in 13 months or longer while its note rankings are based on issues maturing in 12 months or less. Private placements, remarketings, municipal forward swaps, and taxable debt issued by private nonprofits are excluded.

[TABULAR DATA OMITTED]

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.