June 21, 2018 - Reading a recent Reuters article on LSTA Chairwoman, Mitali Sohoni, prompted me to reflect on the importance of volunteer service to our industry. Mitali is an extraordinary person and her commitment to our market and the LSTA is exemplary; she absolutely deserves to be lauded. But reading the piece also reminded me of the 23 other LSTA board members and the hundreds of LSTA members who sit on committees and subcommittees, giving hundreds of hours in support of the loan market every year. This volunteerism, dedication and passion that so many of our members have shown has been the great strength of our market and our organization. The article demonstrates that LSTA members are thoughtful, substantive people who have big ideas, work hard and look beyond the day-to-day issues of our business to give to the greater community.
In fact, LSTA membership is so much more than promoting the loan asset class, working through regulation or dealing with trading and settlement issues. Being part of the LSTA and the loan market also means looking to and planning for the future and forging a sense of community along the way. By donating their time, our board, both present and past, and other volunteers have been able to accomplish so much on behalf of the loan market. And while we have achieved a great deal over the years, there is always more to do and we need your help in moving ahead.
What can you do? First, join our efforts. The LSTA has 440 member firms, with over 22,000 partners, principals, employees and associates who are the real life and breath of those members. We need every one of you to get involved. We have more than 40 committees, subcommittees and working groups: join one; go to a meeting; help us improve the market.
Second, run for the Board. It is hard work requiring extra hours beyond everyone’s already long work day, but it is important. Moreover, directors are term limited and every year, some cycle out. We encourage you to throw your hat in the ring.
Third, there are many other ways to get involved that deepen our sense of community. As just one example, a group of our members have long sponsored Leveraged Finance Fights Melanoma. They raise a lot of money to fund research of a terrible disease; what they do matters and it contributes to the world. Wall Streeters often get a bad rap; this is just one example that proves the stereotypes wrong. There are many more opportunities out there and we encourage you, like our Chairwoman, to take time to make a difference.
Lee Shaiman, Executive Director, LSTA