FIA Conference – Part 1

Last week, as representatives of Caplin, my colleague and I were fortunate to join derivatives professionals, legislators and financial journalists from around the world as they gathered in a blustery Boca Raton, Florida for the Futures Industry Association conference. On a backdrop of comb-overs fluttering on the resort’s golf course and the sound of backgammon pieces clacking on nearby tables, business heads and officials discussed the current state of the industry and shared thoughts on what lay ahead.

FIA conference 2013, Boca Raton

FIA conference 2013, Boca Raton

The conference was mostly made up of representatives from Exchanges, Tech Vendors and FCMs. Predictably, as in recent years, regulation was one of the pressing topics. You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a conversation about Dodd Frank. I was soon learning how the raft of new rules was having a similar effect on the derivatives world as a week’s worth of finger foods was having on my digestive system.

While most market participants do not disagree with the intentions of the new rules, it is the unintended side effects that they take exception to. As the week went on, it became apparent that legislators were receptive to these feelings and told listeners that modifications were on the agenda.

Throughout the week, panels convened to give thoughts on topics such as the current financial reforms, the futurization of OTC products, the changing of industry roles and potential prospects. While there was an absence of controversy or scoop-worthy comments from the industry chiefs, there was no shortage of interesting dialogue to ponder. The next four parts of this blog will review some of these talking points:

Part 2 – Challenging times for FCMs.

Part 3 – SEFs / Swap Futures.

Part 4 –Regulations.

Part 5 – Opportunities.

The next part will look at the origins, symptoms and remedies for the problems currently faced by FCMs as well as looking at potential green shoots.

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