As we approach the end of what has been – for all of us – a challenging year, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank ACI UK members for their continued commitment to working to the highest standards of professional conduct and ethical behaviour. If there has ever been a year where “rulebooks” didn’t cover every scenario it has been this one. As the FCA noted in its aims for SM&CR, a healthier culture will only be achieved when staff at all levels take personal responsibility for their actions. ACI UK members should be proud of how they embody the de facto motto of the association – my word is my bond.

Of course, a major impact of the pandemic has been that we have not been able to run many of our very popular industry events like the Dealing Simulation Course and Square Mile Debates. We have, however, embraced the new world order of virtual events and social media channels to run a number of well received webinars, and to publish the insights of ACI ‘champions’ past and current including David Clark, Honorary President and Stephane Malrait, Chair of the Foreign Exchange Committee.  Going forward, we will continue to create more informative and educational content, including insights from supporters such as Summit Search Group, who earlier in the year gave us the benefit of their expertise on recruitment trends and challenges.

Despite our best efforts, we were also not able to hold the Charity Golf Day – our most prestigious annual fundraising event – but a number of other activities including two Quiz Nights and the efforts of our virtual Tour de France cycling team, Hoare de France, along with the extraordinary generosity of individual members, enabled us to provide much needed support to Variety – the Children’s Charity in what has been a disastrous year (for them and so many other charities that depend entirely on public donations). We very much hope, of course, that the Golf Day will return in 2021, as well as other fund raising initiatives in the year ahead.

In 2021 and beyond we  will continue to be focused and committed to ensuring that ACI UK remains relevant as an industry association representing your interests, we will continue to inform and educate and most of all, we will continue to influence and promote the highest standards of conduct and best practice for individuals and businesses across our industry.

Underpinning everything in our industry today are the FX Global Code and UK Money Markets Code. Since their publication in 2017 adoption and application of these Codes has made a real difference. They are changing cultures, embedding stronger ethical and professional behaviours and promoting higher standards of best practice. They matter – and their importance only grows.There is a challenge however – and that is interpretation. With multiple types and sizes of market participant as well as numerous departments involved in the product lifecycle, how can the Principles in these Codes be translated into real world guidance that is proportional and applicable for professionals of all levels of seniority to adopt?

Helping members to meet the precise challenge of Making Principles Practical – is the theme of ACI UK programme of content and events in 2021.

Alongside our globally recognised professional qualifications and e-Learning Code of Conduct platform, we’ll be hosting a series of educational sessions and events for members that deepen member insight around the Codes. These events will be complemented by thought leadership discussion and debate by our own subject matter experts (and esteemed guests) of the most topical and high profile areas within the Codes – particularly relevant as both Codes undergo three year reviews.

In parallel to all the above we will continue to use our platform to promote and advance positive cultural change and to give back though our charitable efforts – headlined of course by the return of the ACI UK Charity Golf Day. To support these efforts, I am delighted to welcome Sonia Gianasi, Allan Guild, David Hastings, Kate Hudson, Katharine Leaman, and Gavin Marcus to the ACI UK Executive Committee. Together with existing Committee members the ACI UK has a diverse and deeply experienced group of professionals committed to sharing insight for the benefit of our members. The new Committee and dedicated Inform, Represent and Educate sub-committees are working hard to put together a very full calendar of actiivty for next year and we welcome your continuing participation and support.

On behalf of us all, it only remains for me to wish you all a very happy and healthy new year.