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Detroit Is Keeping Restructuring Options Open, Buckfire Says

Detroit is keeping its options open in deciding how to rescue the city while protecting residents and pensioners, said Kenneth Buckfire, co-president at Miller Buckfire & Co., the turnaround advisory firm acquired by Stifel Financial Corp.

“The policymakers will decide very soon what they want us to do,” Buckfire said today on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” with Erik Schatzker and Sara Eisen. “Everything has to be on the table when you consider an equation like this.”

Buckfire’s firm is advising the city as it restructures its finances under state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr. Unlike a corporate restructuring, which prioritizes creditors, the city must also consider taxpayers, residents and pensioner and health-care obligations throughout the turnaround negotiations, Buckfire said.

“You have to work for the citizens in a municipal restructuring,” Buckfire said. “That is something too often ignored by people who focus on the creditors and the other holders of liabilities.”

Detroit’s challenge is to honor “the promises made to its future citizens, as well as promises that past administrations have made to creditors,” he said, including bondholders, pension funds and health-care beneficiaries.

Miller Buckfire announced last week it hired JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Norma Corio as co-president. Corio was most recently head of the special investments group at JPMorgan, where she worked for 30 years. She was appointed treasurer in 2008 to help JPMorgan navigate the financial crisis.

St. Louis-based Stifel acquired all of Miller Buckfire in December after investing $40 million in June 2011.

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