The Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets
Association (Asfima), a trade association for banks in the
equities, fixed income, FX and derivatives markets, has rapidly
expanded since the March appointment of Association for
Financial Markets in Europe’s (Afme) Mark Austen
as its new chief executive.
Asifma’s Patrick Pang
The expansion coincides with exchanges, brokers, banks and
technology providers’ shift in focus to Asia as
G20 regulations on derivatives and clearing start to be applied
in the region and as equity market fragmentation is emerging in
key markets such as Japan and Australia.
Today Asifma has announced a further hire with the
appointment of Patrick Pang as its new executive director for
cross-market initiatives and fixed income.
Here Pang discusses his priorities in this new position, and
reveals what he considers to be the most pressing compliance
issues that Asia’s capital markets face today.
How have your experiences in the financial sector
influenced your goals for Asifma?
Pang: What’s unique about my
experience in the financial sector is that I’ve
worked in several different capacities. Over the years
I’ve been on the transactional side and the
internal support side and also have experience as an external
consultant in an advisory capacity.
With these diverse experiences, I hope to bring a balanced
perspective when I talk with members, including banks, law
firms, and other market participants, as well as
representatives from regulators and exchanges.
Which areas will you cover at Asifma, and how do you plan
to develop your new role?
Pang: I will be covering cross-market
initiatives: areas that affect multiple market sectors, such as
compliance and tax.
Cross market issues are not bound to one particular market
sector and have various implications in foreign exchange
markets, over-the-counter (OTC) equity derivatives, and
credit-default swaps, among others. For example, a compliance
issue we might look into is the US Commodity Futures Trading
Commission’s (CFTC's) requirement for
swap dealer registration under Dodd-Frank. Another
extraterritorial issue of interest is
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca).
In addition to compliance and tax, I will also be working
closely on the funding, repo, and government securities
committees under Asfima’s fixed-income division
and will contribute as well to Asifma’s country
strategies for China and India.
What are your priorities for the next six months? More
broadly, what would you like to achieve during your tenure at
Pang: My immediate goal is to reinvigorate
some of the existing committees, such as the funding, repo and
government securities committee. I’ll be reaching
out to relevant members to explore current issues and work out
their priorities, and, most importantly, to identify issues
that should be addressed immediately.
In the medium-term, we would like to start delivering on the
priorities established by these committees. An important part
of this will be maintaining healthy relationships with key
regulators and policymakers, which is crucial for
Asifma’s long-term efforts to develop liquid,
efficient and transparent capital markets in Asia.
What are the most pressing compliance issues that
Asia’s capital markets face today?
Pang: There are many compliance issues
affecting financial markets at the moment. In the current
environment, it’s easiest to break them down into
two categories. One comprises all the extraterritorial
regulations coming from the US and Europe, and then there are
issues coming from within Asia.
Extraterritorial issues include
Dodd-Frank and European Market Infrastructure Reform
[Emir]. Both establish new rules for the central clearing
of OTC derivatives, which have traditionally been documented
bilaterally under International Swaps and Derivatives
Association (Isda) agreements, and accreditation of
central clearing counterparties. Still, there are many
questions about implementation that have not yet been resolved,
such as potential conflicts between Dodd Frank and Emir
provisions. On the tax front, Fatca is also a concern.
Because much of these extraterritorial reforms are coming
out of the US and Europe, we work closely with
Asifma’s global alliance partners the Securities
Industry and Financial Markets Association (Sifma), the
Association for Financial Markets in Europe (Afme) and the
Global Financial Markets Association (Gfma). Most US and
European banks operating in Asia are handling these issues out
of their US or European headquarters, relying on their regional
compliance teams to provide feedback on specific Asian
Compliance issues within Asia include efforts by individual
jurisdictions to create home country clearing counterparties.
Locally, we’re also seeing a lot of attention paid
to high-frequency trading and dark pools as well as know your
customer/anti-money laundering (KYC/AML) type issues. The
Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) requirements in India
also remain an issue.
Asifma monitors these issues and others and works through
our committees and in coordination with our global alliance
partners to advance member interests in these areas. With
Asifma’s recent expansion, we now have more
resources to support our mission of providing a leading
industry voice for our members. We expect that the expanded
team will enable us to gain more momentum going forward.
For more on Patrick, Asifma's official press release can
be found here: http://www.asifma.org/pdf/PPang-press-release.pdf
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