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Reflections from the CEO

From an ISLA perspective, the past two weeks have been a very diverse mix of market development, grappling with the detailed intensity of SFTR reporting and our normal outreach activities with member firms and other industry stakeholders.

On October 22nd, I had a series of meetings in Madrid as part of the Association’s work to allow the Spanish fund industry to engage more broadly in securities lending. As we see retail investment flows increasingly choose passive index structures over active mandates, the role of securities lending is becoming more important as these funds look to optimise performance and returns. The day in Madrid also provided a great opportunity to meet with the Spanish Treasury, and explain in detail how our markets function and the crucial role securities lending plays around secondary market liquidity. This is particularly important in the context of the developing Capital Markets Union (CMU) agenda across Europe.

On October 30th, we were delighted to be part of the BNY Mellon Investor Forum in London.  This was a great opportunity to feel the pulse of one of our more developed market segments.  As expected, there was much discussion around SFTR, CSDR, pledge collateral trading models, and of course Brexit.  Set against this challenging backdrop, it was encouraging to see the group seeing opportunities to enhance efficiencies and drive revenues into 2019 and beyond.

On the theme of SFTR, November 1st saw the formal launch of our market wide initiative to drive through compliance with the daily reporting obligations of the legislation. This is a significant commitment by ISLA on behalf of its members and the broader market to provide consistency and clarity around such issues as data interpretation, UTI generation and the management of life cycle events.

Finally, planning for our first Roundtable event for 2019 has begun in earnest.  I am delighted to announce that on Tuesday 12th February, we will be running a joint event in Luxembourg with ALFI for the benefit of our combined members.  Details of this exciting collaboration will be released shortly.

Andy Dyson

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