Chicago's derivatives community recently reunited for a day of networking and sunshine as the FIA Operations Americas Golf Outing took place for the first time since the pandemic began. And thanks to strong turnout and the generosity of participants, the event raised roughly $30,000 for local charities.
As COVID-19 restrictions are rolling back in some regions, members of the global cleared derivatives industry have gradually been returning to their offices and meeting up in-person to network and collaborate. This fall, the Operations Americas Division decided it was time to resume its regular outing at the Arrowhead Golf Club and saw strong turnout of almost 120 people.
Net proceeds from the event benefitted two Chicago-area charities that should be familiar to FIA members - the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Greenwood Project.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository has served the greater Chicago area since 1979, and has partnered with FIA since 2008 through events like the Chicago golf outing as well as the Great Chicago Steak Out fundraiser that is a feature of FIA's annual Futures & Options Expo in Chicago. FIA has raised more than $4 million for the group since the partnership began.
In 2020, FIA began its partnership with the Greenwood Project, a non-profit focused on introducing Black and Latinx students to careers within the financial industry via paid summer internships in financial firms, academic instruction and mentorships. FIA has held fundraising efforts for the group such as the recent Chicago golf outing, but also provides tangible resources like connecting the Greenwood Project with FIA Members to source summer internships and hosting "lunch and learn" sessions between industry experts and Greenwood Project scholars.
"Those who attended the Chicago golf outing all said how refreshing it was to disconnect from Zoom and reconnect with colleagues they haven't seen in a long time because of the pandemic," said Don Byron, FIA's head of global industry operations and execution. "The outing was very well-received thanks to the hard work of Bill Metzger, Linda Haven and all the great folks at Operations Americas. And the fact that everyone was so generous and helped us raise $30,000 for some great Chicago-area charities makes the event an even bigger success."
Byron noted that he was not personally present this year in part because he was present at another important in-person FIA event at the same time – the International Derivatives Expo in London, where he moderated a panel on the importance of standardization in industry operations, among things.
“It’s hard to believe that IDX marked the first major FIA conference since 2019. But even though I was 4,000 miles away, the mood there was very similar to the mood on the golf course in Chicago,” he said. “This is an industry where people and relationships really do matter. And it’s great to see everyone so energized and hopeful as we look to a future beyond COVID-19.”
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