Cathy Lyall’s first day in the markets was 1987’s Black Monday. She had planned on going into foreign affairs but snagged a job as a futures broker the Thursday before the crash from her boyfriend, a cash bond broker. She also signed her first mortgage in London the Friday before Lehman Brothers collapsed. Life events when synced with world events yield perspective.
In the period between her first day on the job and her first mortgage, Lyall, currently director of Minnamurra Consulting, noticed a shift in the industry’s mentality.
“The ethics and ethos had changed in the markets — it was flipped completely on its head,” Lyall said. “It was me first, company second, and I’d like to say the client was third, but I think the client was out of the equation altogether. They were the patsies that people were trying to make money from. That meant our markets were broken.”
The good thing about mindset and industry culture is that it can change and Lyall believes that the “my word is my bond” mentality will return to markets — the next generation of market participants will play a key role in swinging the pendulum the other direction.