CEO monthly update 2024


Message from LMA CEO, Scott McMunn

Dear members

I hope you are enjoying the (generally) improving weather and had a good break over the May Bank Holiday if you are based here in the UK. Over the last month we have been continuing to work hard on a number of initiatives and events on your behalf.

driving forward our initiatives

A key area of focus in April has been Primary Delayed Settlement Compensation, where we are making strong progress. The LMA Board approved a recommended timeline for the settlement of primary leveraged loan syndication, incorporating fault-based delayed settlement compensation.

The timeline seeks to address the delays currently occurring as well as balancing the competing interests of all stakeholders, which we are uniquely placed to do as our membership includes both the buy side and the sell side. This has been a critical deliverable for the buy side members of the LMA and was one of the key areas where they were looking for the LMA to action.

Improving efficiency, particularly around settlement times, in the primary and secondary loan markets remains one of the principal goals of the LMA and our members. We will keep these guidelines under review and, if appropriate, extend them to other areas of the loan market in future.

We have continued to strengthen our ties with the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA) in the US. I recently met the new Executive Director of the organisation Sean Griffin along with LSTA Board members on a trip to New York and Philadelphia (for the Loan Operations conference). Sean joins from JP Morgan, where he led the global Collateralised Loan Obligation business.

leading flagship events

Our last major joint event with the LSTA was our joint conference in London on 6 March. The futurist and philosopher Benjamin Butler gave the keynote about 10 shocking scenarios for 2035. The scenarios included climate change catalysing mass migration, many countries having a Minister for the Future and deflation winning out after a series of inflationary spikes in the 2020s. It was a fascinating talk and I encourage you to read the blog on our website when you can.

On 24 April almost 400 attendees took part in our flagship Real Estate Finance Conference. The agenda and the line-up of speakers have made the content of this year’s conference more current, deeper, and practitioner-led and I am delighted to report that the feedback was excellent. Several attendees described it as the “best one ever”. Interestingly, a poll of attendees about where real estate lenders are in the cycle suggested that the storm has passed and that while we may have intermittent showers, overall we are experiencing decent weather – showing the confidence in the current real estate markets supported by strong lending appetite.

On the same day, we held our first Nigeria Loans Conference in Lagos followed by a Sustainable Finance Seminar the next day. The events were attended by 235 delegates. The conference covered a range of topics and we were excited to learn more about this growing market.

Finally at the end of the month, the LMA team spent a day volunteering at Mudchute Park and Farm in East London. The team thoroughly enjoyed caring for the animals as well as helping to maintain 32 acres of farmland. It was a great opportunity to get together outside of work to help a worthy cause. While we emphasise teamwork and collaboration in this volunteering activity, on a larger scale it is also part of the LMA “Our Impact” strategy and shows our progress in this regard. For our members and for the loan markets, the “social” part of ESG is garnering more attention and we will be looking to incorporate this into our work and outputs.

We are currently preparing for FutureLend 2024, a new conference on 22 May aimed at the next generation of lenders. This pipeline of talent represents the future of our industry, so it is vital that we do all we can to help them develop their careers. This is a topic I feel passionately about. The event will help them build their personal brands, understand the latest developments in technology and expand their network. The agenda for the event is in place and it is great to see that most of our member firms have nominated attendees.

Other events in May include our seminar in Stockholm on 14 May followed by our documentation training looking at private credit and ESG in the Nordic markets, a private roundtable with around 25 non-members on credit markets and sustainable finance, and a further joint conference with the LSTA in New York on 16 May. It is a busy month with continued member interaction. If I haven’t had the opportunity to see any of you in person yet, please do not be shy and reach out to me. It remains important for me to continue to hear your views.

engagement and governance

We are increasing our engagement with institutional investors and encouraging them to become members, as we are here to serve all market participants in the loan markets as the voice of the industry.

In the past month, several of you have started voicing specific areas you want the LMA to look at and form a view or response. I thank you as I committed myself to seeking this input when I joined and I will continue with this commitment.

Finally, we are working on new governance for the LMA Board and are setting up new member-owned committees under the board as part of this process. We want to receive continual feedback on our approach from our members to ensure that we continue to meet their needs. The Operations Committee is one of these committees – watch this space for our imminent newsletter on our progress in this area. We will also keep you updated on details of further committees in the near future.

Scott McMunn
Scott McMunn

Scott has held a wide range of leadership roles in finance for nearly 30 years with institutions including Abbey National, Deutsche Bank, and the Royal Bank of Scotland where he was CEO of RBS Asset Management. His most recent roles have been as a principal in a private equity firm and as co-founder in a mortgage fintech.