Times Change

Hopefully, this years Sibos will begin with a sigh of relief as further signs of global economic recovery continue to filter through. This will be a contrast to the sharp intakes of breath that marked the beginning of last years event as Lehmans bankruptcy began to unfold. Certainly, with the focus that policymakers and regulators have given to infrastructure as a means of preventing another financial crisis, the profile of Sibos and its attendees has certainly risen since last year. As a result, things have got a lot more serious. This is evidenced by the types of activities that firms have planned this year no more late night drunken parties, its all about roundtables and seminars. This, I believe is the right approach. We are standing at a crucial point in the response to the financial crisis. Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic have made it clear that change is afoot and in most instances, thus far, have co-operated with the industry and proposed infrastructure changes which will make the financial system more robust. In order to convince them that the industry is taking such initiatives seriously, we need to demonstrate that we are using events such as Sibos to generate discussion that will effect change. Conference sessions planned at Sibos such as Can central counterparties save the world will hopefully do just that. We at Omgeo, along with Thomson Reuters, will be hosting a private discussion with our clients on operational risk and ways in which it can be mitigated. Real action points will be taken away from this discussion. Of course, networking has to be a key part of industry conferences - this is what generates discussion and ideas but the excessive marketing and partying of Sibos past is unlikely to happen this year or in years to come.