European Leveraged Finance Association appoints CEO

The European Leveraged Finance Association (ELFA), a trade association for European leveraged finance investors, has appointed Sabrina Fox as the organisation’s first Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective 1 January. 

In her role as CEO, Fox will lead the development of the ELFA and affirm its role as the voice of the European leveraged finance investor community in the creation of a more transparent, efficient, and resilient market. Responsibilities will include establishing and maintaining relationships with strategic partners, engaging with regulatory bodies and working with the ELFA’s members to take a leading role on industry issues and advocacy positions in the UK and EU.

 
Fox was previously Executive Adviser at the ELFA, a role she held for two years. In this role, Fox established the ELFA as an independent trade association acting on behalf of investors in the European leveraged finance market. Under her guidance over this time, the ELFA has grown to 37 member firms representing over 500 individual members conducting work through six different committees.
 
Under her leadership, the ELFA has developed several platforms for members and market participants. The organisation has published 12 reports under its Insights Series, a thought leadership platform for members, and created four resources under the Diligence Series, designed to support investors’ investment decisions. The ELFA also hosted over fifteen webinars under the Seminar Series in 2020 alone.
 
Fox brings over 18 years of industry experience to the role. Prior to her advisory role at the ELFA, Fox was Head of European High Yield Research at Covenant Review, the investor-focused research firm specialising in bond and loan covenants. Fox also previously held the role of Head of High Yield at DebtXplained, where she played an integral role in building one of the first covenant analysis services in Europe. Fox is a leveraged finance lawyer by background, and began her career with roles at Skadden, Norton Rose Fulbright, Paul Weiss and DLA Piper. Her practice included working with companies on financing arrangements, including issuing high yield bonds.
 
Alex Kay, Independent Chair of the Board, European Leveraged Finance Association, says: “Sabrina has been a driving force in the development of the ELFA, and there is no one better placed to take the organisation into its next phase of growth. During her time as Executive Adviser, Sabrina has shown outstanding leadership and created real momentum for the organisation which has led to a need for us to bring in a CEO for the ELFA’s continued growth. Sabrina’s in-depth knowledge derived from multiple perspectives of the leveraged finance market makes her ideally placed to represent our members’ interests in the market.”
 
Mitch Reznick (Federated Hermes International), Founding Member of the Executive Committee, says: “The Board’s appointment of Sabrina as CEO of the ELFA is more than a title change; it reflects the permanence and breadth of the organisation and, consequently, our need to think strategically about how to serve investors for the long-term. Given her stewardship of this organisation from start-up to established market participant—and her indefatigable energy and passion for leveraged finance—Sabrina is the clear choice.”
 
Fox adds: “It’s been encouraging to see how quickly the ELFA has grown in only two years. I am excited to be taking on the role of CEO as it allows me to more fully contribute to the development of the organisation and to plan its longer-term strategic goals. We have a full agenda for 2021 and beyond – engagement with regulators, supporting the market in the continued growth of ESG investing, and helping our members navigate important market developments are key priorities. The recent creation of our private debt committee has also been an important step as this corner of the leveraged finance market continues to evolve. As CEO of the ELFA, I look forward to continuing to serve the European leveraged finance investor community and ensuring the ELFA remains agile to respond to new opportunities and issues for our members as they arise.”