Stratford Shields has been in the municipal finance industry for over two decades. He once served at the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association Municipal Division. He was their vice chairman, chairman of the board, and treasurer. One of his successes at this organization was having securities companies have a voluntary ban where they wouldn’t contribute money to bond ballot elections in order to not appear that they were engaging in pay-to-play.
He is now at Loop Capital Markets where he is the managing director. This company, based in Chicago, Illinois, is a municipal bond firm that provides investment services globally. Stratford Shields is responsible for their clients located in the Midwest and Northeast of the United States. He spends each day deciding what financing strategies to recommend to his clients. He works with many types of government entities such as states, cities, toll roads, and schools.
One of his biggest accomplishments took place when he was helping Ohio State University who wanted to privatize some of their operations. the goal was to raise money for its endowment and to operate more efficiently. Stratford Shields came up with the idea of privatizing their parking lot system. The university ended up entering into a 50-year agreement with LAZ/QIC who now run their parking system in exchange for $483 million.
What he does for a living requires a person to be highly organized and efficient with their time. Stratford Shields says that it is his attention to detail that helps him in this regard. He truly listens to what his clients are saying and what they are trying to accomplish by issuing a bond. He says that following up with his clients on a regular basis also helps keep him focused on the task at hand and what each of the finer details is.