Stratford Shields is a leading example of what a hard-working entrepreneurial can do in the finance industry. Receiving a bachelor’s degree in History from Ohio State University, a Master’s in Political Science and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University, he has spent over 20 years in the municipal finance industry. He served as the Treasurer with the municipal finance industry association and was Vice Chairman and then Chairman of the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association in the Municipal Division. He would later move onto working for the Morgan Stanley firm for five years as the Head of Public Finance before moving out on his own to become the Managing Director at Loop Capital Markets. The push that Shields had to leave the Morgan Stanley firm, was leading a major university parking privatization deal. The deal was a 50-year long contract and worth $483 million between Ohio State University and LAZ/QIC. The first of its kind, it was called the “Deal of the Year” by Bond Buyer.
Mr. Shields’ outlook is rather straight forward and simple. Stay up to date on current events that are not only relevant to your client’s needs but to the world around you as well. Also, have realistic goals for you and your client. He arrives early at his office to go over each client’s file and comes up with new strategies or goes over their current plans and goals. One thing he cannot stress enough is the mutual and complete trust that is needed between the client and the financial advisor. A good book that he recommends people going into this type of industry read is “Liar’s Poker” by Michael Lewis. It is about the financial markets in the 70-80s, the author’s personal experience working with the Salomon Brothers firm and Wall Street.