J. Ben Watkins

Director - Bond Division of Finance
State of Florida

Mr. Watkins was appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Cabinet as Director of the Division of Bond Finance in July of 1995. The Division of Bond Finance is responsible for issuing bonds for the State of Florida and advising on other debt management policies for the State. The Division administers bonding programs for the Departments of Education, Transportation, Environmental Protection, and Management Services as well as borrowings for the State University System, Florida Turnpike System, Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and State Comptroller’s consolidated equipment financing program. The Division is also responsible for allocating the private activity bond volume cap, maintaining a local government reporting system for bond issues, calculating federal arbitrage rebate liabilities and developing a system to insure compliance with the SEC’s secondary market disclosure requirements.

Prior to joining the Division, Mr. Watkins practiced law with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in Atlanta, Georgia. His practice area was concentrated in public finance and he has extensive experience as bond counsel, bank counsel and underwriters counsel on taxable and tax-exempt financings.

B.S. Accounting, Auburn University, 1979; former CPA with Peat Marwick
J.D., University of Florida’s College of Law, 1984; member State Bars of Florida and Georgia since 1987