Stratford Shields joined Loop Capital Markets as a Managing Director in the Public Finance Investment Banking group earlier this year. Shields has more 25 years of experience as a public finance investment banker including have served as the Head of Public Finance for two major Wall Street firms including 5 years at Morgan Stanley. During his 5 years of service at Morgan Stanley, he demonstrated his leadership and organizational capabilities by improving the firms lead managed negotiated rankings from #10 to a consistent #4.
Loop Capital is a full-service investment bank, brokerage and advisory firm that provides creative capital solutions for corporate, governmental and institutional entities across the globe. The company’s reputation for service and their success rate has allowed them to serve an expanding number of clients from coast to coast. Although constantly growing, Loop Capital is nimble enough to introduce leading-edge technologies enterprise-wide, quickly and efficiently without disrupting client services while maintaining a strong belief in continuously re-investing in the business and addressing areas for improvement.
With a B.A. in History from the Ohio State University and an MA in Political Science and an MBA from Columbia University, Stratford Shields has held a variety of important roles throughout his career. He has been an industry leader in the municipal finance area including serving as Treasurer, Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Municipal Division. Shields has spent the majority of his career serving in the municipal finance industry association.
As Chairman of the SIFMA Municipal Division Shields led the effort to create a voluntary ban among securities firms to eliminate the appearance of pay-to-play by prohibiting financial contributions for bond ballot elections.
Working in the municipal Public-Private-Partnership (“P3”) space, Stratford Shields has also been a leader in this emerging sector. He served as a lead banker to the Ohio State University for its $483 million 50 year concession of its parking system. This transaction was awarded “Deal of the Year” by the Bond Buyer in the category of non-traditional financing.
Shields has assisted several clients with credit strategies and transaction structuring to achieve optimal financing results. His role as lead investment banker has led to more than $30 billion worth of transactions for clients including states, cities, universities, hospital systems, airports, toll roads, water and sewer entities, state revolving funds, and student loan agencies, among others. Shields has also been involved in government and politics. Prior to becoming an investment banker, he served as the President of the State Controlling Board and Deputy Director of the Ohio Office of Management and Budget.
Now with Loop Capital, Shields is covering major clients in the Northeast and Midwest and has a promising future.
As the new Managing Director of Public Finance, Stratford Shields devotes most of his office time to thinking and strategizing for each of his clients. Specifically concentrating on delineating unique and innovative financing strategies that can be beneficial for the client.
This cross-disciplinary work allows Shields to think outside the box and find a solution for one client based on something that has worked with another although these clients vary and include states, cities, universities, utility systems, and toll roads for example. By working across sectors, Shields can look at something that has occurred in one sector and see if the same application can be applied in another.
Shields believes that when it comes to any transaction, especially if it involves privatization, it is crucial to study what positive and/or negative effects could take place. In order to maintain the flow of creativity, Shields is constantly reading and following current events which subsequently helps him keep up with his clients. “I would not be able to be as productive and creative if I did not spend a significant amount of time reading multiple news sources. I also stay on top of several online and web services that help me do the same.”
Shields takes the relationship with each client seriously and believes it’s important to truly understand your clients and to recognize who your prospective clients are. Shields relays this in an interview with IdeaMensch, “Know your clients, who they are, and why they would want to do business with you. Not everyone will do business with a smaller firm – figure out who they are and just cross them off the list. Do not try to force things that you want that are just not realistic.”
Paying attention to what the client really needs as well as understanding what it takes to give them that is what helps Shields remain productive. He believes this attention and the constant communication with clients has enabled him to keep track of the finer details. Maintaining client relationships with keen focus on attention to detail, is a major contributing factor to Shields’ success.
Although he now holds a high ranking position at Loop Capital, Stratford Shields never forgets something he learned in his early years while working in the Ohio Office of Budget and Management. A colleague of Shields would routinely disregard his suggestions for improvement simply using the assertion that he had 25 years of experience in his position. “It took me a while to realize he had one year of experience twenty-five times – he never changed or adapted.”