Published On: Wed, Dec 9th, 2009

FIA Asia Derivatives Conference Highlights

FIA Asia Conference 2009The fifth Annual FIA Asia Derivatives Conference was held in Singapore from December 2-4 with much pomp and circumstance. A large segment of the global futures industry leadership was in attendance and what appeared to be a community poised to shake off the global economic crisis.

The gold sponsor was Newedge but there was also a wide array of exchanges including TFX, NSE, HKEx, SMX (announced their approval to become an exchange), SICOM, Eurex (hosted an offsite workshop with KRX on the up and coming KOSPI T+1 options session), CMEGroup, NYSE Euronext and the host exchange SGX. Cinnober and Chi-Tech were there from the exchange technology segment. And of course the trading application vendors – RTS, Orc Software, Trading Technologies, Patsystems, CQG. Solace Systems stood out as the only hardware vendor with their high-speed, low latency messaging machine. In stark contrast from TradeTech held a few weeks ago also in Singapore there was very little representation from the post trade space.

The first day of the conference was actually a half day beginning around 1:30pm. Nick Forgan the Chairman of the FIA and MD of F&O at JP Morgan led the opening remarks. There were 2 panels in the afternoon The Asia Update and The Outlook for Asia Markets each panelled by sellside CEO’s and the chiefs of Asia’s Exchanges.The day ended with cocktails hosted by CME Group. Special thanks to Ant Payne and Stephane Ullrich of NYSE Euronext. I never had a mojito before.

Needless to say Thursday saw some of the participants a little foggy but this second day of the FIA conference was jam packed with great speeches, roundtables and workshops. The highlight for me was the ETD vs OTC panel chaired by Robert Urtheil. Incumbents included Ananda Radhakrishnan from the CFTC (the only regulator), Jennfier Ilkiw from ICE, Muthukrishnan Ramaswami from SGX, Brad Ridge from ICAP and the CMEGroups own Derek Sammann. While it was agreed that there is a need for regulation and a place for OTC Central Clearing Party’s (CCPs) there was also a question mark at what point securities should be centrally cleared and when they shouldn’t. Certainly food for thought.

While I missed it myself there was also an enthusiastic discussion on the Impact of High Frequency Trading on Markets. Paul Hilgers from Optiver chaired. Speakers included Dean Lane from JP Morgan, Christopher Lee from Fortis, Matthias Rietig from the OSE, GETCO’s Robert Smith and Akira Tagaya from the TSE.

At the end of the day the host exchange the SGX held a gala dinner at City Hall. Magnus Bocker, the new CEO of the Singapore Exchange was on hand to welcome us on his 3rd day in office. The occasion was held in the same room where Japanese General Itagaki Seishiro surrendered to the British under Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten September 12, 1945.

The last day of the conference while only a half day held equally compelling discussions. The Pros and Cons of Consolidated Clearing in Asia, The Challenges of Running a Global Operation and Asia’s Commodity Markets to name a few.

The conference was a great opportunity to network, chat, discuss and generally engage with a wide cross section of global futures industry. There was so much going on that this blog only barely scratches the surface.

I should extend a special thanks to Nick Ronalds the FIA Asia president and all the people behind the scenes who made the conference a great success. I am looking forward to next year and hope to see you too.

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