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ELFA Quarterly Newsletter #4

Issue #4

We recently conducted a survey of ELFA member firms, speaking with a selection of senior individuals about what they value about ELFA and what we can improve upon. We also discussed the pressing challenges remaining to address in the leveraged finance market. Below is a summary.

 1. What do you view as the key benefits of ELFA membership?

  • The opportunity to speak with one voice as the buyside and to work collaboratively on issues of common interest.
  • Personal networking and peer-to-peer connection.
  • ELFA brings in outside expertise to help, which makes efforts more effective and comprehensive (e.g., Partners and other market participants).

 2. Is ELFA addressing the right market issues and challenges?

  • Broad consensus that ELFA and its committees are focused on the right issues and that the make-up of committees is appropriate.
  • Disclosure is the key issue: the quality of information and standardisation of disclosure, especially with respect to ESG reporting and covenant transparency.
  • ELFA will continue to streamline and focus on issues that matter most to members, including disclosure and transparency, plus other topics specific to an asset class.

 3. How do you view ELFA’s impact on the market?

  • All agree that ELFA is making a positive impact on the market with a recognition that a lot has been achieved in a short time.
  • ESG is most cited as the topic where ELFA is achieving the most ‘positive change’ due its development of standardisation tools to encourage better reporting and disclosure.
  • Regulatory engagement, including with IOSCO, was also mentioned as being particularly impactful, and we aim to be proactive with regulators now that our new Director of Engagement & Regulatory Affairs has joined us.

 4. How do you view ELFA’s communication with members?

  • Generally good with useful updates on what the committees are doing. The Insights Series and Seminar Series are highly valued.
  • Most member firms read the ELFA Weekly Legal & Regulatory Update and share relevant things with colleagues as it is ‘very useful’.
  • ELFA’s Annual Conference is widely valued as a chance to interact in person on the issues that matter via the panels.
  • ELFA will incorporate feedback by posting more regular LinkedIn updates, utilising infographics and clear signposting in its messaging, and recording periodic Zoom round-ups of our activities and efforts.

 5. Do you view ELFA’s membership fee as good value for money?

  • Most respondents rated the ELFA fee as good to excellent value for money due to favourable comparisons with the fees of other trade bodies and due to ELFA’s unique service to leveraged finance investors.
  • Everyone would recommend ELFA to their network.

 6. How do you view the quality of ELFA’s partners?

  • Overall, respondents want more, not less, from ELFA Partners.
  • ELFA Seminar Series is highly valued by those who engage with it; covenant insight is helpful.
  • Partner law firms are seen as high calibre providing a solid legal contribution with the ratings agencies also seen as good contributors.

 7. What are your suggestions for 2024 and beyond?

  • Members want more face-to-face meetings and networking events: small, topic-led groups and informal networking drinks in the City.
  • Members based in Europe request remote access to partner events and live access to ELFA Annual Conference.
  • ELFA will take steps to increase engagement across our committees through direct interaction with members.

 If you did not respond to our call for feedback and wish to share your views, please contact Sabrina.