David Jaffe Speaks to Economics Class and BFI Club about Banking

David Jaffe Speaks to Economics Class and BFI Club about Banking

Thanks to MBS parent David Jaffe, who visited campus on Friday, April 14 to speak with the Economics honors class and members of the BFI (Business, Finance, and Investment) Club about his career as a Managing Director and Global Head of Citi’s Chemicals Corporate Banking franchise. He presented an overview of how banks work, and offered perspective on the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and other regional lenders.

Prior to joining Citi’s Corporate Bank in 2010, Mr. Jaffe spent 12 years with the Asset Based Finance Department within Citi’s Capital Markets Origination group. He also spent four years as an auditor with Deloitte & Touche LLP in New York. He received a B.A. in accounting from the University of Michigan and earned his MBA from the University of Chicago with a major in Finance.

In his presentation, he discussed banking fundamentals and the structure of Citi Bank before exploring a case study involving Sherwin-Williams’ acquisition of Valspar in 2017. He reviewed the many ways that Citi was instrumental in the process — from providing bridge financing in support of the transaction to helping the companies integrate. “We were involved in a lot of different aspects of the process,” said Mr. Jaffe. “Banking is very much a team sport.”

Mr. Jaffe concluded his presentation with an examination of SVB’s recent collapse. He pointed out several red flags including management issues, less restrictions on smaller banks, and SVB’s over-exposure in the tech start-up sector.  He said that the collapse could lead to further consolidation among smaller banks.

In a Q&A with students, Mr. Jaffe discussed some of the ways that Citi is helping companies transition to clean energy. “There’s a big focus on sustainability and we’re helping our clients transition, but it’s going to take some time,” he said.


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