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Q&A with Michael Dolan

Q&A with Michael Dolan,
Independent Board Chair of ELFA


Q. Why did you decide to become independent chair the ELFA board?

There are several reasons. First, after 20 years covering leveraged finance on the buy-side I care deeply about investors rights and understand the importance of having a strong voice in a fast-moving and increasingly complex market. Second, I am passionate about good governance which is important for building trust with all stakeholders. And third, I am recently retired and so have the time to dedicate to this role and being out of the markets also means that I can be impartial. ELFA has been highly successful in its first 5 years, building an incredible platform for investors and I relish the opportunity to play a role in the next stage of its development.

Q. Why is governance so important to the leveraged finance market?

Good governance is important for all companies, but especially in the leveraged finance market where many companies are privately owned and financial risks tend to be more significant because of higher debt levels, especially in this high interest rates environment. Good governance benefits all stakeholders and helps to build trust and confidence.

Q. What are the biggest challenges that ELFA is looking to tackle over the next 5 years?

Some of the biggest challenges remain the same as when ELFA was founded, notably weak covenants and poor disclosure. To these I would add increasing regulatory requirements, notably around sustainability, and the uncertain impact of AI on the leveraged finance markets. Importantly, ELFA is already doing great work on all of these issues.