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CRE Finance World, Summer 2014

Past CREFC Leaders Reflect on Evolution and Growth of the Association “In fairness to the regulatory and legislative community, they aren’t experts in all the different nuanced asset classes in financial services. In order to help them write regulations that monitor without hurting, we had to be prepared to teach. “I remember going up to Norwalk, Conn. with the entire board of governors. There was a caravan of busses and cars getting everyone up to Norwalk for a session with the FASB board to take them through how securitizations happen, so that they could more fully understand how certain draftings can do more harm than good. “The problem of course is that you have to do this no less frequently than yearly. Because elected or appointed individuals will change; there’s never a static group in place for long. As a result, the organization staffed up with people who knew how to handle Capitol Hill, legislative affairs experts who could navigate Washington relationships so we can get in front of regulators. But it’s incumbent upon all industry trade associations to acknowledge that there’s an ongoing responsibility to keep informing legislators and regulators about the basics and the challenges of our industry. “Another interesting aspect of my term was the beginning of the formation of the European, Asian and Canadian chapters. Prior to that we had only an international committee. But there was enough activity overseas that we had to raise the bar and go beyond the committee level to have bona fide chapters in other countries and continents. This allowed us not only to replicate the success of the organization here but also to create forums for constituents in foreign CMBS and create information flow and standards that worked for their markets. “Finally, prior to my year we created CMBS 101, a very good introductory seminar for market participants who were either new to the industry or who were in such a special niche that they never got to understand the whole picture. In my year we took CMBS 101 and expanded it to 201 and then 301 in subsequent years. This gave the association an educational curriculum to offer a wide range of industry participants. We realized during my term as president that the industry was maturing and participants CRE Finance World Summer 2014 8 needed to be educated on how to handle more sophisticated issues, issues such as a more detailed analysis of how the IO tranche worked and a deeper understanding of the various risk considerations of each tranche in a deal. “I am very proud of my involvement in this organization, and I’ve been involved since it began in 1994. I’m proud because I believe very strongly that there’s been tremendous effort made by the members to constantly evolve the industry and to evolve information-sharing and transparency about securities and finance in general. This industry has exhibited a great deal of integrity and self-assessment.” RICHARD D. JONES President, June 2004–June 2005 Partner, Dechert LLP “My term was about at the point where the market really began to take off after the post-9/11 recession, heading of course for the disaster of 2007. But I’ll take credit for the market doubling in size every year until then. The business was going great and the organization was growing. It had really established itself as the industry’s reputable voice. “My major accomplishment was launching the Political Action Committee. There were those in the organization who were actually ambivalent or hostile to the idea, but we needed a way to express our views in an increasingly intrusive Washington. I convinced the board to establish a PAC and hire a government relations function. But it wasn’t just me; a lot of people on the board helped to get it done. When I left the presidency, I ran the PAC for the first five or six years. “There’s been tremendous effort made by the members to constantly evolve the industry and to evolve information-sharing and transparency about securities and finance in general. This industry has exhibited a great deal of integrity and self-assessment.” “The organization and the industry have been through a crucible such as we’ve never seen, and both have come out stronger and with clarity and purpose.”


CRE Finance World, Summer 2014
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