Great Relationships No Matter the Outcome

By Jim Toes, President and CEO, STA

You don’t need to be a news junkie to know that it’s an election year in the US – and a fast-moving one at that. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have already clinched the nominations of their respective parties. The next few months will see a growing fever pitch of aggressive campaigning, and as usual, the election will have far-reaching implications for the financial services industry.

While we can’t predict the future, one thing is certain: STA’s relationships with the regulatory and congressional staff who play a critical role in defining US market structure will endure.

It’s easy and often necessary to focus on the names at the top of an organizational structure – who will take the Oval Office, chair the SEC, lead congressional committees and so on. Yet so much policy work is performed by those who will never appear on a ballot or on cable news. For every speech an SEC commissioner makes, there is an army of employees handling the research, analysis and industry engagement required for effective regulation. The same is true on Capitol Hill – nothing gets done without the tireless efforts of committee staff and legislative aids, who focus on the finer details so our elected officials can serve in all the capacities we need them to.

Over the years, these commission and congressional staffers have welcomed STA into their offices, listened to our concerns, shared their priorities and given us a unique perspective on the inner workings of our government. This has allowed us to build valuable relationships that will withstand any political development, come what may. In a city where policy is too commonly replaced by political theater, these meetings are often where the real work gets done.

These relationships aren’t just personal – they’re also practical, not to mention mutually beneficial. Our rapport with regulatory and congressional staff means we can advocate for our members and our industry more effectively. On the other side, our regulators and lawmakers receive thoughtful, informed perspectives from an organization that understands the realities of their roles and is committed to a robust, highly functional market structure. We strive to embody this sense of collaboration and mutual respect in all we do, in DC or elsewhere.

Behind the scenes of the aggressive political discourse, there will still be a large group of talented, unsung individuals who are working tirelessly to strengthen our industry while keeping investors safe. We look forward to continuing to deepen those relationships in the months and years ahead, no matter the outcome of this year’s election.

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