Company Overview

Vining Sparks is nationally recognized as a leading broker/dealer in serving the investment needs of institutional investors. The firm was started in 1981 by Jim Vining to primarily serve the investment and asset/liability needs of community banks.

From an initial staff of 17 people, Vining Sparks now employs more than 300 people in 14 domestic offices and one in London. The firm has continued its presence in the banking industry and currently transacts securities business with more than 2,500 banks. However, Vining Sparks has long grown beyond its initial customer base of community banks. The current customer base includes hundreds of other clients such as savings and loans, credit unions, municipalities, money managers, trust departments, insurance companies, pension funds, and investment advisors. Vining Sparks has an annual trading volume exceeding $200 billion with customers located in all 50 states and many foreign countries.

Customers of Vining Sparks receive access to proprietary analytical tools that assist them in the investment portfolio decision-making process. The firm assists clients of all types in making decisions that are appropriate based on the client’s specific investment objectives. This assistance is provided through specialized professionals utilizing the proprietary analytical tools mentioned above and is one of the primary reasons Vining Sparks is unique compared with other broker/dealers. The firm’s employees come from varied backgrounds and include certified public accountants, chartered financial analysts, former Wall Street professionals, former regulators, as well as experts in other industries.

Unique Products & Services

The Vining Sparks’ trading desk is able to structure and bring new securities to market for agencies of the U.S. government. By being able to tailor these securities to customers’ needs, the firm is consistently ranked as one of the country’s top 20 underwriters of newly issued agency debt.

Through our in-house proprietary portfolio management system, VPORT, we can provide monthly pricing for virtually all fixed income securities. This system utilizes a variety of electronic pricing services and then selects the best source for each market sector and sector type. This approach is more accurate than using a single pricing source or a pricing matrix.

Our VPORT system also provides: 1) immediate notification of called securities by daily electronic monitoring; 2) predicted call dates updated regularly based on the current treasury curve and newly issued security levels; and 3) five-year, month-by-month projection of cash flows based on predicated calls and projected prepayment speeds on amortizing securities.

Finally, VPORT can notify you if we have a matching position in our inventory to a security in your portfolio. When “matchers” are noted, you have the opportunity to add on to your current position or sell an odd lot at a round lot bid. This is especially helpful to portfolio managers who wish to limit the number of positions in the portfolio.

Vining Sparks is one of the world’s largest poolers of Small Business Administration Guaranteed Loan Pool Certificates (SBA GLPCs). These securities carry the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government and offer investors a floating rate security with no periodic or life caps. As a pooler, Vining Sparks is regularly purchasing the government-guaranteed portion of SBA and USDA loans.

If you would like to learn more about how Vining Sparks can serve you, feel free to contact your account representative or call Randy Wade, Executive Vice President, at (800) 829-0321.