Ron Borod

Founder and Principal, Ram Island Strategies LLC

Ron Borod has worked extensively in securitization and structured finance for over two decades and has established a reputation as a thought leader in the creation of innovative structures and financial products. Ron has focused his practice on assisting issuers and underwriters in designing and implementing securitization programs involving non-traditional asset classes. 


For example, in the 1990s he developed the first national credit tenant lease finance program and the first CTL-only conduit, and designed and executed securitized credit lease programs to provide construction and permanent financing for two national retail companies. 


Ron was the architect of and served as Issuer's Counsel and Program Advisor for a national program to securitize legal fees awarded as a result of the 1998 settlement of the states' litigation against the tobacco industry. The first of the transactions under this program, Litigation Settlement Monetized Fee Trust I™ US$308.1 Million Pass Through Certificates, Series 2001-1, was named US Asset-Backed Deal of the Year by the International Securitisation Report. To date, Ron has served as lead counsel on more than US$1 billion of securities backed by over $3 billion of tobacco fee revenues. 


Ron also has significant experience in the renewable energy sector in creating capital market structures for wind, solar and energy efficiency projects, as well as carbon emissions allowances and offsets. He also has been active in the securitization of intellectual property and in whole business securitization.


Ron founded Ram Island Strategies in August 2017 to continue to provide legal, financial structuring, and strategic advisory services to clients seeking improved access to the domestic and foreign capital markets and desiring to optimize structured finance executions. From the RIS platform, Ron continues to offer the value-add services that he provided at DLA Piper LLP and at Brown Rudnick LLP, where he built a reputation over many years of practicing law as a thought leader and innovator in securitization and other forms of structured finance with a focus on first-time issuers and non-traditional asset classes.

Specifically, at Ram Island Strategies Ron continues to offer the following services:

  • designing the legal architecture for structured finance transactions,
  • interfacing with the rating agencies to obtain investment grade ratings on esoteric asset-backed securities,
  • identifying strategic capital and service providers for sponsors of securitization transactions,
  • assisting clients in identifying and resolving legal and structural issues encountered in esoteric ABS transactions,
  • providing strategic advice to clients for building long-term structured finance programs and initiatives, and
  • managing structured finance transactions to final pricing and closing.

The RIS platform enables Ron to deliver these services in a manner which differs from the traditional law firm model in the following respects: (i) give clients complete flexibility to contract with Ram Island

Strategies for specific service modules and to combine those services, in a manner designed to meet the specific needs of the client, with the services of a traditional law firm or other service providers; (ii) make his services available to clients under creative billing arrangements that are not tied to hourly rates but are instead project-based, tied to results achieved and, in appropriate circumstances, deferred in whole or in part to the occurrence of a liquidity event; and (iii) accept engagements for transactions with longer execution periods than are normally possible for traditional law firms.


Ron also continues to pursue his prior “impact securitization” model of deploying securitization technology to support transactions and programs that not only “do no harm” but that also promote sustainability, renewable energy and energy efficiency, advances in life science, support for the arts, and other initiatives that promote the public good.

Experience

Some representative transactions in which Ron has been involved in recent years include the following:

  • Ron conceived and structured the program which has enabled outside legal counsel for various states in the tobacco litigation, which culminated in the landmark settlement in 1998, to monetize their legal fees. These fees (originally aggregating over US$14 billion) are payable by the settling tobacco companies over 28 years. The first of a series of transactions under this program, Litigation Settlement Monetized Fee Trust I™ Pass Through Certificates, Series 2001-1, closed in February of 2001, involving the issuance of US$308.1 million of pass-through certificates. It was named the US Asset-Backed Securities Deal of the Year by the International Securitisation Report. Subsequently, Ron has served as issuer’s or transaction counsel in additional securitizations of tobacco fees aggregating over $3 billion, working with underwriters and placement agents including Deutsche Bank Securities, Barclays Capital, Lehman Brothers, UBS and Guggenheim Securities
  • Ron is serving as special advisor to various sponsors of securitization transactions involving the unguaranteed portions of section 7(a) SBA loans, USDA-guaranteed solar loans, and energy efficiency financings.
  • Ron is serving as special advisor to a sponsor of a financing of a large municipally leased building in Australia.
  • Ron is serving as co-chair of the Solar Energy Finance Advisory Council of the Solar Energy Industries Association, and is in such capacity assisting with the structuring and execution of a C&I solar project roll-up securitization.
  • Ron was co-chair of the legal subgroup working on various mock rating projects under the auspices of Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC), a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)-sponsored initiative to facilitate access of solar power projects to the securitization market. In such capacity, he is the co-lead draftsman of term sheets and the co-lead developer of the legal architecture for multiple versions of solar securitization transactions, including residential and commercial and industrial, and also a structure to harmonize securitization with tax equity structures
  • In 2014 Ron represented an investment firm in the creation of a securitization program to fund the aggregation of portfolios of commercial solar projects and in such capacity designed the legal architecture for issuing asset-backed securities from a portfolio of multi-tiered investment LLCs and project LLCs with tax equity investors under a partnership flip structure