EXCLUSIVE: Asifma announces new cross-markets and fixed income executive director

Author: Ashley Lee | Published: 2 Dec 2012
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Asifma’s Patrick Pang
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.

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 Asfima?

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 issues.

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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Why Basel III will jump-start Asia's high-yield market http://www.iflr.com/Article/3115624/Search/Results/Why-Basel-III-could-jumpstart-Asias-high-yield-market.html?PageId=201716&Keywords=asifma&OrderType=1

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