Anny Huang is a partner in Sidley’s Chicago office and serves as chair of alternative assets in the Global Finance practice. Anny has been recognized by several publications as a leading lawyer in the area of capital markets and was recently included in a profile by Crain’s Chicago Business. Anny currently serves as firmwide chair of the Committee on Conflicts and Professional Responsibility, and as a member of the Investment and Retirement Plans Committee and the Committee on Diversity.
“In just days after the series of actions by the Fed, the markets steadied and achieved a remarkable return to normalcy. It was an extraordinary piece of history to be part of.”
What is the most memorable matter you led and what made it so memorable?
One of the most memorable matters of my career happened during the recent COVID pandemic. I, and a team of colleagues, had the privilege of assisting the Federal Reserve Bank in the establishment of the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, a part of the Fed’s historic intervention in the capital markets. As counsel to many different banks and corporations, I saw firsthand the crisis in liquidity and pricing unfold at a shocking pace. Perhaps because of the uniqueness and uncertainty around the pandemic, it was in some respects unprecedented even by the standards of the global financial crisis. In just days after the series of actions by the Fed, the markets steadied and achieved a remarkable return to normalcy. It was an extraordinary piece of history to be part of.
It has undoubtedly been a tumultuous last year. Given your 20+ years of experience in the capital markets, what do you think participants should be anticipating in the broader landscape?
I suspect we’ll see a re-emerging appetite for policy solutions, in addition to a near-term interest in regulation given the change in Congress and the White House. The more structural question is whether big ideas in the private sector — artificial intelligence, customization at scale, automation, and many others — may lead to more confidence and perhaps impatience for innovation in the public sphere. That link could be very direct when it comes to the capital markets. Asset managers now have powerful methods and real-time sources of data on market behavior that can increase visibility and granularity; that greater analytical heft may give us new insights and change ideas about inflation, capital flows, taxation, etc. And alongside the emergence of powerful tools, there is a strong sense of imbalance in this moment in our society. It’s a combination that will likely push demand for more powerful and creative solutions at a policy level. The results are likely to be both informative and humbling. Goals in private transactions tend to be narrow and easily measured, but public objectives are more profound, multifaceted, and messy. As a practitioner, it’s certainly a worthwhile time to be paying attention.
On a personal note, what has been your go-to self-care activity?
Perhaps culinary misadventures? During the pandemic, I learned there’s only so long you can trap type A people at home before they start rooting around in the back of the pantry — especially with a family as a captive audience that can’t escape.
Can you share with us a saying or quote that gives you inspiration?
So tough to pick. There’s nothing more inspiring than folks able to communicate tremendous complexity with simplicity. Einstein, Obama, Yogi Berra — you know, the greats. Look at Einstein: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” If only I could explain Dodd Frank so succinctly.