In Memoriam: John Reffell, 68

Pioneer of secondary loan market

CAA mourns the death of its member John Reffell in London. Julie Charman sent in this "In Memoriam":

John Reffell, one of the leading characters from the early stages of the loan markets, passed away on September 13, 2015 at the age of 68.. Sadly, he was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease and was not able to fight against this unforgiving illness.

John began his loan markets career at Citibank but it is at Chase Manhattan that his career began to sparkle. He almost single handedly began the secondary loan market that is so widely used today. His hard work, enthusiasm and determination created many of the processes that the loan trading platforms use in advanced form today. The invention and commercial structure of the sub-participation agreement and transfer certificates can be accorded to John, alongside his trusted legal advisors.

As a leader John was inspirational in his team building, giving many members of the Chase Manhattan teams opportunities to build careers of greater magnitude from this innovative platform. His driving force with an abundance of humility will always be remembered by the many colleagues and clients in his 40+ year banking career.

It is with the same enthusiasm and determination that John led Loan Syndications at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, moving the business to the next level in terms of geographic reach, organization structure and adoption of best market practices.

Under his tenure, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi became a leading arranger of loans in EMEA. He started the process of reorganization of the business and it is under his leadership that a dedicated sales and distribution team was first created there.

After a few years at ING, John finished his career working for the FSA (now FCA). He always regarded his employment as a means of perversely giving something back to the industry – always describing this stint of his long career with a twinkle in his eye!

His sharp wit and light-hearted approach to life outside the industry will be missed by the many who knew him in his retirement.

His compassionate style of management is a rare quality today, yet of all the people he helped along the way there remains tremendous respect, loyalty and gratitude.

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Anyone wishing to share a remembrance should send it to

From Rudi von Eisenhart-Rothe: I had the good fortune of convincing John to join Chase and build up the loan sale and trading business very successfully from scratch. I had the privilege of working with him for a number of years. He was totally determined to succeed, very good and pleasant in the debate on how to proceed and absolutely loyal in the execution of decisions made. Frequent good laughs rounded up a highly enjoyable (and profitable) working relationship.