In transcripts of Nuveen’s calls unsealed June 28, Nuveen accused Preston Hollow of misleading investors about the bond firm’s practices and charging exorbitant rates for deals that don’t “pass the sniff test.’’ Officials also said Preston Hollow engaged in “predatory lending.”

That prompted the Nuveen to launch its unprecedented effort to get the rest of the bond market to ostracize Preston Hollow, according to the transcripts. “It’s a business policy shift for us to do this,” one Nuveen executive said on a call, according to a transcript of the conversation.

Preston Hollow quotes Miller as saying he had obtained agreements from 90% of major Wall Street dealers and banks to stop working with Preston Hollow and was working on 100%. “I feel my chances are pretty good at getting there,” according to the transcripts.

A long-time colleague of Miller’s said in a call with officials of Deutsche Bank AG –- which provided financing to Preston Hollow -- that he’d never seen the executive “so serious about anything. I mean, nothing gets him more upset than these Preston Hollow deals that pull supply away.”

Miller’s pique centered on Curtis Erickson, the head of capital markets at Preston Hollow who allegedly told an unidentified issuer that Nuveen wouldn’t agree to certain bond covenants and “would rather put you through bankruptcy,” according to the transcript.

The Nuveen executive also claimed in the transcript that Erickson had said the same thing about Nuveen when he worked at Mesirow Financial Inc., a Chicago-based bond dealer.

“Nothing makes John madder to know that this guy is still out there doing that," an unidentified Nuveen employee said, according to the transcripts. “When Wells Fargo told us exactly what Preston Hollow said, it just set him off." Erickson declined to comment Monday on the allegations.

Wells Fargo worked with Preston Hollow to underwrite a private placement for a project in Chicago. After the deal closed, Preston Hollow marked up the bonds and attempted to sell the securities to Nuveen, according to the transcripts made public in Delaware.

While Preston Hollow accuses its rival of leaning on Deutsche Bank to yank Preston Hollow’s financing, Nuveen counters it was trying to protect the bond market rather than kill a competitor.

‘Consistent Stance’