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Highlights from Asia Pacific Trading Summit

The Asia Pacific Trading Summit, the largest one-day electronic trading event in the region, was held on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. Delegates attended in person and via live streaming.

This one-day, electronic event convened more than 700 key personnel of the institutional trading industry to provide thought-provoking, forward focused insights through an interactive programme.

One featured panel was “Is COVID-19 Leading to a Paradigm Shift on the Trading Desk and Trading Operation?”

Panelists were Tristan Baldwin, Head of APAC Equities, Liquidnet; Stephane Loiseau, Managing Director, Head of Prime Sales & Execution – Asia Pacific, Equities, Derivatives & Prime Services, Societe Generale – Global Markets; Raj Mathur, Co-Head, Advanced Execution Services (AES), APAC, Credit Suisse; and Francis So, Co-Chair, Asia Pacific Steering Committee, FIX Trading Community, and Head of Trading Asia Pacific, BNP Paribas Asset Management. The moderator was Benny Yip, Co-Chair, Asia Pacific Exchanges and Regulatory Subcommittee, FIX Trading Community, and Vice President, Global Client Development, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd.

Panelists discussed aspects of the “new normal” under COVID, such as:

  • Changes brought by the new technology and flexible working conditions, which are here to stay.
  • A more flexible work environment is expected to result in both talent retention as well as increased diversity in the trading space.
  • Time savings brought by less travel open up opportunities to address other trading issues such as transaction cost analysis, which may not have been a primary focus.
  • Challenges that still to be addressed: Compliance and supervisory framework post-pandemic; adjustments made in policies and procedures; technology of split teams; adjustments to new regulatory requirements.

The question was raised of how to keep a team cohesive in BCP mode. Panelists raised the following points:

  • Focus on processes more tightly;
  • It’s easier for established teams to stay cohesive; newer teams were more difficult to keep on same page.
  • Rotation of groups is needed to achieve the necessary coverage and flexibility at the same time.
  • Strike a balance between work and family life.

Silver linings of COVID:

  • Renewed emphasis on technology.
  • Time savings from less travel, which can allow for more attention on the client. Seeing clients digitally can be just as personal as in-person and it’s easier to get people in the “room”.
  • Talent retention: flexible work-life balance should be helpful, especially in Asia where it is not typical to work from home.