FIX EMEA London 2017: a day of industry collaboration

By Tim Healy

On 2nd March 2017, the FIX Trading Community will hold its 9th annual EMEA Trading Conference at Old Billingsgate in the City of London. Europe’s largest one-day trading event, the conference brings together market participants to discuss and debate hot topics and trends in the industry right now. It’s the place to be not only for discussions but also for valuable networking opportunities; last year’s conference was attended by over 900 delegates from 22 countries spanning Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas, featuring 16 sessions with 40 speakers, and this year’s event is set to be even bigger with over 130+ Buy-side attendees already registered!  

Throughout the day we will be looking at issues that the industry cares about and wants to collaborate and share information on, including MiFID II regulation, fixed income, the post-trade space, cyber-security, research and unbundling, regulatory reporting and a number of other challenges that the market is facing. The morning kicks off with the main panel on regulation, discussing the impact of MiFID II on authorised firms trading abroad, the impact of non-EU firms trading in the EU, the reach of MiFID on non-EU trading venues, as well as looking at practical approaches to responding to some of the challenges. One member of this panel session will be Rodrigo Buenaventura, Head of the Markets Department at the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), who – together with other panellists – will bring more insight and further clarification to the topic.

There are a number of other panel discussions throughout the day, including one on Equity Trading and how it will look in the future. It will discuss the question that as exchanges and liquidity providers directly court the buy-side, does this mean the inevitable dis-intermediation of the sell-side? What new partnerships will form and how will liquidity interact between venues? And what changes to workflow will need to be made for the buy-side to meet best execution requirements? Another highlight will be the panel on Making Research Pay, which will be tackling unbundling and discussing how to establish the cost of research as well as managing multiple payments, managing the procurement process and avoiding inducements as well as looking at the global ramifications – to name just some of the issues on this panel.

Throughout the day these business streams will be available for participants to follow. Another will discuss how fixed income instruments are to be traded and reported going forward. Fixed income cash and derivative trading will face huge changes in the months to come. Transparency and data capture requirements will create challenges to voice trading and new and existing execution venues will be challenged by the current models.  Issues like where to find liquidity and what indeed are the main liquidity concerns? Is there a future for voice trading? How will orders be executed in the future? These are just some of the discussion points.

Fixed income will be picked up again in the main afternoon session, particularly how the future lies for fixed income and derivatives. Will fixed income and derivatives trading move to an equity-like trading model within five years? Will this lead to better outcomes for the market, and what are the challenges ahead in both? With the growth of electronic trading, all of a sudden you have a move towards a centralised exchange, which brings with it a huge shift and change in infrastructure for a lot of banks. How will the fixed income OTC industry deal with liquidity challenges going forward?

Another strong theme at FIX EMEA London this year is collaboration. Regulation has certainly brought the industry closer together. It is widely known now that what affects the big investment banks will also affect the much smaller players in the market, as well as everybody involved in the investment and trading process. In that light, we will also be talking about the latest changes to the FIX Protocol and how it is meeting regulatory requirements. In response to MiFID II, FIX Trading Community’s active Working Groups have recently produced reports on a number of topics, including on transparency, order data and record keeping, clock synchronisation, reference data, and best execution.

We are also delighted to be joined by keynote speaker Kay Swinburne, MEP for Wales, Coordinator on the Economics and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) in the European Parliament, who will no doubt discuss the importance of the City of London’s role as a successful global financial centre post-Brexit. And we are thrilled to be joined by guest speaker Sean Fitzpatrick, who holds the world record for playing in 63 consecutive Test matches for the New Zealand All Blacks and is the world’s most capped hooker and may have a thing or two to say about rugby! And of course not forgetting the ever enjoyable network drinks at the end of the day! We hope you will come and join us and get involved in this and the other debates. 

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