All Articles Finance Modern Money A conversation with new GFMA CEO Simon Lewis

A conversation with new GFMA CEO Simon Lewis

3 min read

Modern Money

The Global Financial Markets Association named Simon Lewis as CEO. Lewis also serves as CEO of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe, a position he has held since October 2010. Lewis previously served as director of communications and the U.K. prime minister’s spokesman at 10 Downing Street. In this conversation, Lewis shares his insight on the workings of GFMA and issues facing global financial markets.

What is GFMA, and what is its purpose?

The Global Financial Markets Association brings together three leading financial trade associations to address the increasingly important global regulatory agenda — the Association for Financial Markets in Europe in London and Brussels, the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association in Hong Kong and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association in New York and Washington are, respectively, the European, Asian and North American members of GFMA.

There is a growing need to address financial regulatory issues at a global level, and GFMA allows for a coordinated advocacy effort.

And who does GFMA actually represent?

Our board comprises a number of global systemically important banks, and we are hoping more will join over the coming months. Within the foreign exchange industry, GFMA’s Global FX Division has 22 dealer members who represent more than 90% of the global foreign exchange market.

What does today’s news cover?

GFMA has just announced that Blythe Masters, head of global commodities at JPMorgan Chase and a member of the JPMorgan Chase Executive Committee, is taking over as chairwoman of GFMA from Michele Faissola, global head of rates and commodities at Deutsche Bank. Michele has done a sterling job as chairman and will be a hard act to follow.

At the same time, I will be taking over as chief executive of GFMA from SIFMA’s Tim Ryan and looking to continue the great work he has been doing over the last two years

What will GFMA be focusing on during 2012?

2012 promises to be a defining year for the way global financial markets operate, with implementation of the Basel III reforms well under way and the Financial Stability Board active across a broad agenda.

Mark Carney’s appointment as the head of the FSB is a welcome one, and we are encouraged that he has publicly stated that his job is to ensure that new banking rules are applied evenly across all jurisdictions.

So, whether we are focusing on the resolution of G-SIBs or developing a legal-entity identifier that is coordinated globally, we expect to work with the FSB and other regulators to ensure policymakers adopt an evidence-based approach and that financial regulation is consistent and coordinated across all jurisdictions.

What is GFMA doing to meet the sometimes varying agendas of members from different regions?

GFMA’s focus is limited to issues that require a coordinated global industry response — such as on cross-border resolution — as well as issues affecting an industry that is global in nature, such as foreign exchange.

Issues that are more regional in nature, such as implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act or Capital Requirements Directive IV are dealt with by the appropriate regional association. Importantly, GFMA and affiliate staff work closely together on a daily basis.