Give credit where it’s due: the Fixed Income Analysts Society knows how to help its members and friends bond.
At the Roosevelt Hotel Thursday night, inducting the latest entrant into its Hall of Fame, Fiasi (pronounced fee-ah-zee) provided a platform for peers at competing firms to mingle, reunite with former colleagues and talk shop.
“The thing about fixed income is that most people nowadays are specialized, so getting together and hearing about what’s going on is so important,” said Martin Fridson, chief investment officer of Lehmann Livian Fridson Advisors.
“I’m in tax exempt municipal markets,” said Stephen Winterstein, chief municipal strategist at Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors. “It’s one thing to read research and news; it’s another thing to actually interact with people in other corners of the fixed income market and really get a sense, pan-industry, across sectors, what people are thinking.”
“No one gets smarter by sitting on their own,” added Pawel Mosakowski, a fixed income and credit manager, most recently of Deutsche Bank.
The group started in 1975 with Friday meetings at Harry’s on Hanover, “as a way of getting work to pick up the bar tab,” joked Mark Howard, president of Fiasi and head of U.S. credit strategy at BNP Paribas.
“It was mostly credit guys and it expanded,” said Richard S. Wilson, one of the founders.
The group now has 300 members, who are elected by Fiasi’s board. The bulk of events are educational. May’s topic will be machine learning and fixed income; June’s is derivative clearinghouses and system risk. Last month the organization held its first Women in Fixed Income panel.
Guests Thursday night included Joyce Chang, global head of research at JPMorgan Chase; Candace Browning, president of global research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch; John Karabelas, head of North American credit sales at BNP Paribas; and Lisa Black of TIAA-CREF. Martha Dumont, a founding investor of CreditSights after heading fixed-income research at Lehman Brothers, chatted with Ted Roosevelt, a managing director at Barclays. Also seen conferring were Lawrence Dyer, head of U.S. fixed-income strategy at HSBC, and Patrick Fay, chief operating officer at Mizuho Securities USA.
While there were plenty of quips about the preference for a career in bonds over stocks, folks such as Ashish Shrivastava, director of emerging-market equity risk at Lazard Asset Management, were permitted to attend.
Fiasi’s Hall of Famers in the room included the first inductee, in 1995, Martin L. Leibowitz of Morgan Stanley; 2003 inductee Jack Malvey, chief global markets strategist at BNY Mellon; and 2015 inductee Michael R. Bloomberg, majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.
“I’m off to Cuba on Saturday,” painter Kehinde Wiley told Studio Museum in Harlem Director Thelma Golden and photographer Cindy Sherman Wednesday night at the Brooklyn Museum Artists Ball. “For the circus!” Golden said, always up on artists’ work. Wiley explained he’s working on paintings of children in their training years, before they become circus performers. For inspiration, he’s looking at Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec.
Later, guests settled in at tables decorated by artists. Adam Max, Tim Ingrassia and John Vogelstein found inflatables in the shape of what looked like sausage links strung across their table. Also attending were Keith Anderson, Dick Cashin and Michael Lynne.
Several tables had cut-outs of Brooklyn Museum Director Arnold Lehman, who’s soon to retire. Artist Dustin Yellin, who in the past few years has built his own art institution called Pioneer Works in Red Hook, is an admirer.
“After all these years, he has a porous membrane to everything that he’s exposed to,” Yellin said of Lehman, who started at the Brooklyn Museum in 1997 and leaves at the end of June. “To stay open is really the key to keeping an institution fresh.”