ISDA has a proud but little celebrated role building the plumbing of the derivatives markets, designing and negotiating the templates which frame all of the trillions of derivatives which have been at the heart of the financial crisis. But ISDA has not had a good crisis. Thrust into the spotlight to defend the role of OTC derivatives in the financial crisis, ISDA’s technical experts have found it hard to get traction with legislators looking for quick and easy answers.
A tactical decision not to bend with the wind of regulatory change has left ISDA defending some positions long abandoned by other derivative believers. Consequently ISDA’s wise and well-informed voice has been much less influential in shaping the post crisis settlement than many of its supporters had hoped.
It is against this background that chairman Eraj Shirvani has asked long time staffer Bob Pickel to make room in the executive suite for a new CEO, industry veteran Conrad Voldstad. The industry needs a strong ISDA, and ISDA needs a stronger management team.
Connie certainly brings vision, determination and experience. This is good news. ISDA knows it needs to reach out beyond its traditional supporters amongst the major derivative dealers to embrace the more nuanced interests of the buy side of the derivative industry. it has made some progress in this respect in recent years. If it is not to be seen as another voice of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, Connie will need to continue Bob Pickel’s outreach programme. Crustacea beware.
Trading Room FT
Banquo is still an active investor so will declare his financial interest where appropriate in any blog post.