WASHINGTON – Jessica Giroux, general counsel and managing director for Bond Dealers America, has been named to replace Bill Daly as the National Association of Bond Lawyers’ director of governmental affairs on Jan. 1, 2018.
Giroux will join NABL on Aug. 28, 2017 as deputy director of government affairs and will work with Daly until he retires at the end of the calendar year. Daly has held the post with NABL since 2012 and has spent more than 35 years as a lobbyist and public policy analyst.
“The NABL board is delighted that Jessica will be joining NABL to succeed Bill Daly as our director of governmental affairs,” said Clifford Gerber, NABL’s president. “Jessica’s experience in the municipal finance industry will permit us to leverage the efforts of our many volunteers in carrying out NABL’s mission.” That mission includes educating NABL members, improving the state of the art in the field, and providing comments on both the legislative and regulatory fronts, according to Gerber.
Daly, who worked with Giroux at both BDA and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office here, said NABL “is lucky to get Jessica.”
“She's smart, dedicated, hardworking, and just all around terrific,” Daly said.
Giroux said her decision to apply for the NABL position was in part related to her past experience with Daly. She first worked with Daly in 2004 and said they became friends through that professional experience.
“He’s been a fantastic friend to me, an amazing role model, and professional mentor,” Giroux said, adding she looks up to Daly and his capabilities as a leader. When she found out Daly was retiring, she said she thought of the opportunity to replace him at NABL as great professional development and a logical next step given the opportunities she has had at BDA.
Giroux said she plans to build on the “great relationships” with market participants she has developed over the past six years with BDA. She started with the group just after the Dodd-Frank Act passed in 2011, at a time when there were a lot of changes to the muni market. Giroux said the challenges those changes brought allowed people to become closer through “the really tough work that we all had to do.”
Those relationships will be especially helpful when having discussions with regulators and others where opinions may differ about the right course of action, she said. “It’s a two-way street and I think I’m able to help bridge the gap, which is sometimes a challenge,” Giroux added.
One challenge she foresees working on with NABL is the proposed amendments from the Securities and Exchange Commission that would add two required material events notices under its Rule 15c2-12 on municipal disclosure.
The proposal would require event notices to be filed for a broad range of “financial obligations,” if material, including guarantees, leases, derivatives, and monetary obligations resulting from a judicial, administrative or arbitration proceeding. It would also require such notices to be filed for actions and events related to financial obligations that “reflect financial difficulties,” such as a modification of terms or an acceleration.
Market participants generally have been divided, with analysts and investors largely welcoming the proposed additions and dealers, municipal advisors, and issuers saying the proposal was too vague and would be overly burdensome for market participants.
Giroux’s departure from BDA will leave a void at the dealer group that she said will be up to BDA chief executive officer Mike Nicholas as well as the BDA board to fill. Giroux said there has not been a plan put in place yet to find her replacement but that she will leave a thorough description of all the tasks she does to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
“I’ve had such amazing professional development at BDA [and] Mike Nicholas has allowed me to take on so much in such a short amount of time,” Giroux said of her time at the dealer group. “We’ve had great staff at the BDA, great leadership, and great members.”
She said she is thankful to her colleagues at BDA, especially Nicholas, for “six great years.”
Before joining BDA, Giroux served as chief of staff and counsel to then-New York State Sen. James Alesi, a Republican, and also spent four years as part of the senior legislative staff in former Mayor Bloomberg’s office here. She has a law degree from Albany Law School and is admitted to the New York State and U.S. Supreme Court bars.