The Pittsburgh Stock & Bond Association started 90 years ago as a social club for the city’s wealthiest residents, such as Richard King Mellon who served as one of its original founders, but today the group of Pittsburgh securities traders, brokers and financial advisers are making a difference for children’s charities.
The estimated $20,000 that the group raised Thursday at its annual summer gala at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center will be donated to the Robinson-based charitable group Variety, which will use the money to purchase special bicycles that can be operated by children born with disabilities that prevent them from riding standard bicycles.
“These bikes are all customized to a child’s particular disability,” said Charles LaVallee, president of Variety.
In true Wall Street fashion, the members raised about half of the total amount in a trading game where they bought and sold raffle tickets, each striving to own the last ticket pulled from the box. The final two ticket holders, rather than duke it out to the bloody end, decided to forfeit to charity.
The organization also announced Thursday that it has changed its name to the Pittsburgh Society of Investment Professionals to reflect that its membership has expanded beyond just stocks and bonds.
Its 150 members represent about 30 firms in the Pittsburgh region — including BNY Mellon, PNC and Federated — that participate in foreign exchange trading, as well as derivatives, financial advising and portfolio management.
“A strong investment community in Pittsburgh is good for the Pittsburgh economy, and this organization is at the core of this investment community,” said Daniel Dingus, a club board member and president of Fragasso Financial Advisors, Downtown.
Founded April 6, 1925, as the Bond Club of Pittsburgh, the original membership rooster included Richard K. Mellon and presidents of leading banks and brokerage firms in the city. Over the years, it evolved from a men-only social club to one that embraced women and minority members, and focused on job promotion, investment knowledge and charitable giving.
When the Bond Club of Pittsburgh merged in 1995 with the Pittsburgh Security Traders Association, the new club became the Pittsburgh Stock and Bond Association.
“We decided we should identify ourselves as an organization in the community that wants to help children’s charities,” said Frank Randazza, a past president of the club and a retired fund manager for Stifel Nicholas, Downtown.
He said since 1995 the club has raised about $500,000 for children organizations and causes such as juvenile diabetes, Ronald McDonald House, Mario Lemieux Foundation, Highmark Caring Place, Gwen’s Girls and Mother’s Hope Foundation.
“It’s not a large amount of money that we generate,” Mr. Randazza said. “But for our organization of 150 members, in a very silent way, we have been making a difference by giving what we can.”
Tim Grant: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1591.