In 2020, Industry Firms Can Give to Each Other by Giving Back

With the holiday season approaching, now is a natural time to think about how we can adapt longstanding traditions to meet the moment. By now, most of us have settled into the new normal made necessary by the coronavirus, which continues to present new challenges, both big and small.

Holiday gifts have always been a key part of how firms in our industry express their goodwill toward one another. When you’ve just finished your commute to the trading desk on a gray December morning, there’s nothing quite like a tin of gourmet cookies or holiday-themed swag to lift your spirits.

Of course with most of us still working from home indefinitely, keeping the tradition is going to be more difficult than usual this year. Attempts to replicate it would involve shipping gifts to hundreds of different locations, only to then be opened by an individual who is not in the presence of fellow colleagues.

Yes, receiving a gift is always nice, but sharing it with others is what truly makes us happy. In an industry that is becoming more electronic by the day, gifts and moments like these show that there is no substitute for the human element.

Fortunately, there is a solution that maintains the spirit of this tradition while giving back to the community: making charitable donations in the names of your clients and prospects. This is an effective way to show your appreciation without requiring that employees be together physically. It’s also an effective way to avoid those extra holiday pounds. 

Yes, receiving a gift is always nice, but sharing it with others is what truly makes us happy. In an industry that is becoming more electronic by the day, gifts and moments like these show that there is no substitute for the human element.

On top of that, this idea is perfect for the holidays, a time when all of us wish we were able to do more to help those less fortunate. In many ways, it does more to exemplify the spirit of the season than a tin of cookies ever could.

Giving Tuesday & STA Foundation Awards

If you do choose to go the charitable route, December 1 is a great day to donate. It’s not just Giving Tuesday — it’s also the day of STA’s Evening of Recognition & Education, where we will present the STA Foundation Awards.

This year’s event is sponsored by Bank of America SecuritiesCboe Global MarketsCitadel SecuritiesClearpoolDASH Financial TechnologiesFidelityIEX ExchangeJonesTradingKnopman MarksPicoTegra118 and Wells Fargo.

A new award for 2020 is the Individual Big Heart for Charity Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations who serve their local community while bringing a sense of dignity to people from all walks of life in their times of need.

The three 2020 recipients – Bryan Harkins of Cboe Global Markets, Francisco Manuel of MAN Group and Zach McClanahan of DASH Financial Technologies – exemplify these qualities through their efforts with various charitable organizations.

We hope you’ll consider giving back this year as a way to strengthen industry relationships while also making a positive difference in your community. Below are five charities worth supporting, including those supported by our Big Heart for Charity recipients and three STA charity partners.

Wall Street Rides FAR is an annual charity bike ride founded by industry veterans Bryan and Melissa Harkins, which brings together the Wall Street and autism communities to raise money for the Autism Science Foundation (ASF), an STA charity partner. ASF supports autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research.
The Foundation for Women Warriors serves women veterans and their children so that their next mission is clear and continues to impact the world. The organization helps women secure housing, employment, childcare and other necessities.

Team Rubicon is a nonprofit that utilizes the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. It has deployed across the U.S. and around the world to provide immediate relief to those impacted by disasters and humanitarian crises. This past April, Zach McClanahan played a key role in helping Team Rubicon serve food-insecure New Jersey residents at the height of the pandemic.

STA Job Re-entry Initiative, STAR offers services that assist in the needs of individuals who have been displaced from their jobs and are seeking re-entry into the financial services industry. Fran Manuel was instrumental in getting the STAR program off the ground. STAR is made possible through grants by the STA Foundation. Please consider a donation to the STA Foundation.

However you choose to celebrate the holidays this year, we at STA wish you all the very best.