After serving as a securities regulator in the late 1970s, Ken Lay joined the World Bank in 1982 and started working on Eurobonds in 1983, issuing his first Eurodollar deal in 1984.
It was during his spell at the financial operations department (FOD) of the Bank's treasury in the mid-1980s that Lay began his exhaustive analysis of what he calls the "underlying character of the Bank's investor base".
At the same time, he became increasingly preoccupied with finding a solution to the apparent anomaly dictating that the World Bank paid more to access the US domestic market than it did elsewhere.
His blueprint for change landed on Dan Roth's desk in January 1988 and led to the historic launch of the first global bond in September 1989. The success of that deal was a fitting reward for an immense amount of work Lay had done in canvassing the views of some 125 institutional investors around the world. 1989's dollar transaction also provided the template for yen and Deutschmark deals in the early 1990s as the concept of the global grew in popularity worldwide.