Published on 15 March 2022

One week out mark for the 14th EMEA Trading Conference taking place here in London on the 24th March. Trader TV spoke with the FIX Trading Community, EMEA Regional Co-chairs Matthew Coupe and Rebecca Healey. The big themes at this year’s conference are ESG reporting, Digital Assets and a MiFID review.

Hamish McArthur: Welcome to Trader TV, providing insight for the professional investor. I’m Hamish MacArthur, and with me in the studio are Matthew Coupe and Rebecca Healey.

Rebecca, Matt, welcome to the show.

Rebecca Healey: Thank you for inviting us.

Matthew Coupe: Thanks for having me.

Hamish McArthur: The FIX EMEA conference is coming up shortly. The first one in person in two years. What are the big issues facing your members right now, Rebecca?

Rebecca Healey: That’s a very good question, actually, because I think obviously over the last two years, most people have been focused on just keeping the lights on, making sure that they can still trade. So in some senses, we’re hitting reset, really, on a lot of the issues that were around two years ago. But actually now people are returning back to their offices.

There are challenges that we’re going to have to address, we’ve also got regulatory divergence in the form of the UK and Europe, and we’re also going to be hearing from other regulators around the globe. Just on the regulatory challenges, what FIX is always focused on is how you implement it in practice through better standards and better data.

Hamish McArthur: Matt, what would you like to add?

Matthew Coupe: There’s a number of different areas we’re looking at. ESG, we’ve got fixed income issues, we’ve got fundamental questions being asked in the industry right now, globally, around what’s a trading venue? How does that apply? Now, some people might say that that is a fixed income focused area. But I think when we look at these definitions, they aren’t going to impact us across asset classes.

Looking at that in a bit more detail is the question of what’s a technology provider vs a venue? And what is electronic trading vs trading on venue? And these are critical debates which are happening right now, that we need to move on. We’ve also got next gen electronics trading specialists coming through. What are they looking at? What are they focusing on? What do they want to see from their roles as well?

Hamish McArthur: What solutions to these challenges will be discussed at the conference?

Matthew Coupe: There seems to be one fundamental base point, and that’s data, quality of data and data standards, and that’s what we’re about at FIX, it is free and open data standards. So the theme through all these different issues is going to be, ‘how do we process the data for this? How do we get the trade processing effectively? And then how do we have a good output that we can then feed into the transactional process and leverage into the investment process as well?’

Rebecca Healey: Particularly with world events that are going on at the moment in Ukraine, I don’t think it’s ever been more important to actually get accurate reporting, accurate data. There’s obviously this CSDR issues the industry is facing. The FIX community is focused on getting industry experts to come and speak and share their experience so that the audience and those who are participating can actually benefit from the different working groups that are in place.

What FIX is actually trying to implement from a data standards perspective and industry best practices, so along with regulators and politicians who are coming along to speak, we’ve also got the people who are actually doing the job at a grassroots level, who can really share that expertize. So panel discussions on everything from equities to fixed income to crypto to blockchain to ESG, which is a huge focus at the moment, again going back to the Ukraine conflict, where they’re talking about, ‘are we going to see war bonds? Could you actually see weapons being included in ESG so that they have favorable financing terms?’ I mean, these are elements that we wouldn’t have thought feasible, which is why I think it’s going to be a very interesting and critical debate at a very crucial time for the industry.

Matthew Coupe: The critical thing is having the actual experts there on the stage to actually discuss the issues and how we fix them, and then set the agenda of what developments need to happen and what are the industry discussions happening right now, and then how do we get to the conclusion of them.

Hamish McArthur: Rebecca Matt, thank you so much for being on the show.

Rebecca Healey: Thank you.

Matthew Coupe: Thank you.

Hamish McArthur: I’d like to thank Matthew Coupe and Rebecca Healey for taking the time to be on the show. And of course, you for watching. To catch up on our other updates, go to TRADERTV.NET.