Conrad Voldstad ’82, one of the forefathers of the over-the-counter derivatives market, received the Richard J. Bennett Memorial Award at the annual Corporate Counsel Dinner on November 15 at Fordham Law School. Approximately 200 alumni, friends, and colleagues watched as Dean Matthew Diller presented to Voldstad the award, which recognizes corporate leaders with the highest standards of ethical conduct, moral purpose, and selfless commitment.
“Connie trades first and foremost on his sterling reputation, an enduring value that cannot be bought or sold,” said Dean Diller. “For more than 40 years, he has proven through his own actions that the principles of fairness, decency, and professionalism pay the largest dividends in the world of finance.”
Voldstad began his career as a commercial lending officer for JP Morgan and eventually became the head of planning and budgeting for global banking and international treasury. Among his accomplishments were the creation and management of a global business operating in five trading centers and the development of hedging techniques for off-market cash flows in any tradable currency.
In 2009, he became CEO of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, a global trade association for OTC derivatives with over 800 institutional members in more than 50 countries. In his leadership role, he developed a plan for an industrywide approach to global regulations, emphasizing the need for safe and efficient markets and utilizing economic research; helped spur the use of compression in the interest rate and credit default swap markets; and reorganized staff and established more formal budgeting and review processes.
“At the Law School, my classmates and I were blessed with having great faculty members who had great teaching skills and knowledge of their specialty. Our professors helped us to understand the law, how to think like lawyers, and to analyze legal situations,” Voldstad said. “But, just as important, we were taught that the practice of law required each attorney to behave ethically and to give back in one form or another. I am proud to see these values stressed throughout Fordham Law School to this day.”
Voldstad is a member of Fordham Law’s Dean’s Planning Council. Before receiving his J.D. cum laude from Fordham Law, he obtained an M.B.A. from Dartmouth and a B.A. from Boston College.