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LSTA Annual Meeting: New Year, Expanded Mission

January 19, 2017 - On Wednesday, the LSTA hosted its Annual Membership Meeting.  In years past, Executive Director Bram Smith’s address included inspirational rhetoric, including “Decide!”, “We shall go to the moon!”, and “The Tipping Point”. This year’s theme was a bit more down to earth: “Try Not to S**k”. 

This catchphrase came from Joe Maddon, manager of the Chicago Cubs, who came from behind to win the World Series, and was adopted by Dabo Swinney, whose Clemson Tigers recently beat heavily favored Alabama in the National Championship. The point(s): Concentrate on the little things. Don’t make mistakes. Have fun, take pride in your work, and exercise some creativity in what you do. 

How in the world does this apply to LSTA efforts in 2016 and objectives for 2017? In 2016, the LSTA launched a new Delayed Compensation regime intended to expedite settlement times. It was by no means perfect, but the results definitely do not s**k. In fact, median settlement times fell to a four-year low of 11 days, down from 13 days prior to the new regime going live.  In addition, in October, the LSTA published the second edition of the LSTA’s Complete Credit Agreement Guide. How do we know the book most certainly didn’t s**k? Demand! We already are going into the third printing. On the regulatory side, we had some wins (Liquidity Risk Management Rules) and some setbacks (District Court ruling on risk retention), but regulation likely has moderated from its increasingly onerous path. And on the education side, the LSTA continues to push forward: We held six conferences in four countries; we doubled our CLE sessions (29), credit hours offered (49) and certificates issued (2,604).  

What is on deck for 2017? First, we are going to continue improving our secondary delayed compensation regime, but we are developing a delayed compensation regime for primary as well. On the regulatory front, in light of the new administration, we believe we have the opportunity to shift from a reactive and defensive posture to a proactive and constructive one. And on the documentation side, we are planning to dramatically expand our suite of documents. First up: Investment Grade Model Credit Agreement, which is slated for release next week! 

Finally, we could not do all this without our excellent and engaged board. In turn, we want to welcome our new board members and thank our outgoing ones. We are delighted to have David Lerner of Shenkman Capital, Adrian Marshall of BlackRock, Peter Nolan of Antares, John Popp of CS Asset Management and Alex Spiro of PNC starting two-year stints on the board. On the outgoing side, we wanted to thank Tim Hartshorn of Fidelity and Kim Harris of Bain Capital, both of whom served full six-year terms. And, finally, we want to thank (and applaud) Dave Frey of HPS, who not only served as a passionate advocate for the loan market for six years, but also as LSTA chairman in 2016. Thank you all for a terrific 2016 – and in advance for an equally productive 2017.

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