ACI UK: 2016 & Beyond

On November 10 2015 over 100 ACI UK members and guests gathered together at Bloomberg’s London offices for this industry event, kindly sponsored by Bloomberg. 

Morgan McDonnell, ACI UK President, opened the meeting by talking about ACI UK ‘renewing its vows’ in respect of its role and commitment to supporting financial market participants in the UK and beyond. He reminded the audience that ACI was at the forefront of endorsing industry best practice, transparency and integrity, through its long standing and industry-acknowledged Model Code and through its continuing contribution to industry debate on behalf of members.  He reinforced ACI’s unique position as an association for individuals, not bound or constrained by institutional mandate, and reminded members and guests of ACI’s ongoing and active contribution to FEMR and BIS consultations – and the endorsement of these industry bodies of the role and value of the ACI Model Code within the framework of a global ‘code of conduct’ for the financial markets industry.   Further endorsing ACI UK’s active participation in industry debate, Morgan announced the appointment of David Hastings, UK Committee member, to the role of Bank and Financial Institution Liaison Officer (more details to follow).


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David Woolcock, Chair of ACI’s Committee for Professionalism and Stephane Malrait, Chair of the ACI FX Committee (and newly formed FI Committee) also talked about the value and role of ACI in the financial markets community.  On the Model Code, David observed that “it’s more relevant today than ever before, has stood the test of time and remains a defining example of self regulation….and one that all ACI members sign up to”.   

David quoted David Puth, Chairman of the BIS Market Participants Group (and long standing ACI member):  “There have been a number of codes written around electronic trading but nothing that is cohesive and that can bring the market together.  Our goal is not to reinvent the wheel and so I think I we will draw very heavily on the ACI Model Code to be able to help to articulate what it is that we want to do“.  David also outlined proposed changes to the structure of the Model Code going forward which will result in the creation of three versions of the Code – one covering broader FICC/OTC wholesale markets (as now), FX-only and FI&ALM.

Stephane Malrait observed that one of ACI’s many strengths is that it is NOT a traditional lobby group, but an independent association representing (and protecting) the interests of individual participants. He noted that the ACI FX Committee, chaired out of the UK, is now 4 years old with membership representing the spectrum of buy and sell sides and technology providers. The Committee looks closely at how changes in the global regulatory framework impact the FX industry and community (e.g. BIS, MiFID II, EMIR, FEMR) and makes appropriate submissions to regulators.  The FXC also acts as an expert panel to ACI International’s Executive Board (and Council).   Building on the success of the FXC Committee, Stephane announced that a Fixed Income Committee was being set up with similar goals – and that more members from UK banks would be welcome!  Concluding his address, Stephane said that he “was very happy to be part of the ACI story” and that current and impending changes and challenges in our markets meant that “more than ever it is the time to become an active member of ACI”.

Oliver Madden, ACI UK Education Secretary and Member of ACI’s Board of Education outlined the work of the Board in rolling out a new, dynamic education strategy that seeks to re-establish ACI examinations and qualifications as a ‘must have’ for all FX and FICC market participants, wherever they sit in the transaction lifecycle – front, mid and back office. He talked about the new ACI Diploma offering a modular, progressive learning opportunity for market participants starting with core Dealing, Operations and Model Code exams and leading up to an accredited, professional qualification.  (More details to follow).    Like other ACI speakers, Oliver also talked about the role and value of ACI’s new e-learning tool, ELAC  – click here for more information .

Ben Jones, UBS, a ACI UK Dealing Simulation Course ‘alumna’ based in London gave an entertaining insight into his experience at this intensive course, run annually in the UK (in association with ACI Australia). He outlined why he’d signed up for the course and more importantly, how he had benefited hugely from it, both in terms of its training and educational content and also in respect of the professional (and personal) networking opportunities that it created; he was, he said, still in touch with many of the 20+ delegates on his course and that many of them continued to meet socially.  

Overall, he observed that the course was the ‘best of its kind’, providing the most realistic hands on trading experience that it was possible to get outside of an actual trading floor, and that as a result of the course he had been able to leverage what he had learned (educationally and beyond) to become more involved and active in his current role – and that the course would ‘open new doors professionally’.

Representatives from ACI Jakarta presented a video about the 2016 World Congress.

Click here to watch the promotional video for ACI Jakarta 2016 World Congress.

Thomas Petersen, Bloomberg rounded the meeting off with a very insightful presentation entitled ‘A Year in FX’. The evening ended with a Reception, where members and guests enjoyed drinks and wonderful canapes, courtesy of Bloomberg, our event sponsor.