Bank of America bond analyst Lauren Sobel dies at 25

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Lauren Sobel, a municipal bond analyst at Bank of America the past three years, died tragically during a rock climbing accident in Gardiner, N.Y. this past weekend.

The 25-year-old Sobel fell about 50 feet to her death on Sunday while climbing in the area of the Trapps Trailhead at the Mohonk Mountain Preserve around 60 miles north of Manhattan, according to New York State Police. Sobel was 70 feet up the rock face setting protection gear when she lost her grip, police said.

Bank of America municipal bond analyst Lauren Sobel died at the young age of 25 during a rock climbing accident 60 miles north of Manhattan on Aug. 9.

“Lauren was filled with unlimited potential, a thirst for life and a quest for knowledge, and the most caring heart,” Ian Rogow, BofA’s co-head of Municipals Research, said in a statement. “Her fondness for her colleagues, the municipal market and our clients drove her every day.”

Sobel, who first arrived at BofA's New York City office in July 2017, analyzed municipal credits and sector trends related to transportation and special tax revenue bonds, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also contributed research on municipalities, credit sectors and debt markets for the firm’s weekly municipal strategy reports.

“In the three years Lauren had been at BofA Securities, she became an invaluable member of the Municipal Bond Research and Strategy team,” Rogow said. “She was an incredibly vivacious, smart, personable and genuine young woman.”

Sobel was also active with the National Federation of Municipal Analysts as a conference planning committee member from October 2018 to May 2019. She helped organize the NFMA’s 36th Annual Conference and moderated a panel called “Millionaire Migration or Merely a Mirage?”

“While Lauren was comparatively young in the world of municipal professionals, she was most certainly a bright light, showing the kind of insight and intellect of more experienced analysts, but often bringing a perspective that would highlight an insight in a unique or different way.” said Kurt Forsgren, a NFMA board member and credit analyst at S&P Global Ratings. “Her questions to me as a rating analyst were always spot on, showing that she did her homework and then some. “

Outside of her public finance career, Sobel developed a passion for rock climbing after volunteering to help amputee military learn the sport. Sobel volunteered with Adaptive Climbing Group of New York where she helped people with disabilities to climb.

Sobel graduated cum laude from Tulane University in 2016 with Bachelors of Arts in political economy. She also minored in French, which she spoke fluently.

In lieu of flowers, Sobel's family requests that donations be made in her memory to either Tulane or the Silvia Rivera Law Project.

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