FXPA Board Member Lowry Named to CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee

The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) is pleased to announce that Board member, Chip Lowry, Senior Managing Director, State Street Global Markets, has been selected as a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC).

MRAC was created to address systemic issues that impact financial stability and financial market structure evolution. Specifically, MRAC advises the CFTC on derivatives and related financial markets as they pertain to clearinghouses, exchanges, swap execution facilities (SEFs), swap data repositories, intermediaries, market makers, service providers and end users.

Lowry, who previously served as FXPA chair, will represent FXPA on the committee, which is comprised of approximately 30 members. MRAC is sponsored by CFTC Commissioner Kristin Johnson.

“MRAC represents an important forum for the industry and the CFTC to confer on issues that impact financial markets. Our mission at FXPA is to advance a sound, liquid, transparent and competitive global currency market, so I look forward to being part of this consequential effort from the CFTC,” says Lowry.

The FXPA is a unique industry body that represents a diverse cross-section of the FX market to advance its mission to collectively represent the interests of professional FX markets participants through education, research, and advocacy. Since 2014, the FXPA has established itself as a respected industry thought leader and resource for global policymakers.

The FXPA has recently engaged on a number of FX-specific and market-wide regulatory and policy issues in the US, Europe, and Asia. More specific to derivative markets, the FXPA has been involved in questions related to the trading and clearing of non-deliverable forwards (NDFs), the regulation of digital assets, post-trade swap data reporting, and swap execution facility (SEF) registration and regulation.

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The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (“FXPA”) is a Washington-based organization that represents the collective interests of professional foreign exchange markets participants.  The group is designed to engage key regulators and policymakers through education, research, and advocacy, with the goal of advancing a sound, liquid, transparent and competitive global currency market.  See more at www.fxpa.org

Media Contact:  Julie Ros, Strategic Advisor – Tel: (646) 468-6550 / jros@fxpa.org / www.fxpa.org

FXPA Elects New Chair, Vice Chair at Annual Meeting

WASHINGTON, DC, March 1, 2022 – The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) elected a new Chair and Vice Chair, along with a slate of candidates to its Board of Directors, during its annual meeting on February 28th. New York-based Kevin Wolf, CEO of Euronext FX and Euronext US, assumes the Chair of FXPA, and London-based Chris Leonard-Appleton, Head of Front-line Risk and Regulation, FX, at LSEG, will serve as the new Vice Chair.

Wolf succeeds Chip Lowry, Senior Managing Director of State Street Global Markets, who has served as Chair for a total of five years, with the latest stint starting in 2020. Leonard-Appleton succeeds LSEG colleague, Jill Sigelbaum, and will also assume her seat on the Board. Sigelbaum has also served multiple terms as Vice Chair, with the latest beginning in 2019.

“I am honored to be elected to serve as Chair of the FXPA and build upon the strong leadership of outgoing Chair, Chip Lowry. It is an interesting time for the FX industry as we emerge from the pandemic, central bankers revisit monetary policy, and the market continues to react to the recently published update to the FX Global Code. I am excited to help FXPA leverage its broad and diverse membership to further increase the organization’s positive impact on the market,” says Wolf.

“It is an honor to join the Board of the FXPA, and I’d like to thank the other members for their support. I’d also like to thank Jill for all her dedication and hard work as Vice Chair. I look forward to picking up where she left off and helping the new Chair and the Association with its ongoing initiatives,” says Leonard-Appleton.

Wolf and Leonard-Appleton join FXPA’s Executive Committee, which includes Paul Houston, Global Head of FX at CME Group, who serves as Treasurer, and Jordan Barnett, MD and Global Head of Program Trading at BNY Mellon, who serves as Secretary.

FXPA also re-elected a number of members to serve two-year terms on the Board. In addition to Leonard-Appleton’s new seat on the Board, the following members were re-elected: Lauren Rosborough Watt, Economics & Investment Manager, CalPERS; Mike Margolis, Assistant General Counsel, Cboe; Tahreem Kampton, Senior Director, Microsoft; Christopher Matsko, Head of FX Trading Services, Portware; KC Lam, Head of FX and Rates, Singapore Exchange (SGX); and State Street’s Lowry.

These Board members join existing members: Tod Van Name, Global Head of FX Electronic Trading, Bloomberg; BNY’s Barnett; CME’s Houston; Euronext’s Wolf; and Trabue Bland, President, ICE Futures.

The FXPA is a unique industry body that represents a diverse cross-section of the FX market to advance its mission to collectively represent the interests of professional FX industry participants to advance a sound, liquid, transparent and competitive global currency market to policymakers and the marketplace through education, research and advocacy. Since 2014, the FXPA has established itself as a respected industry thought-leader and resource for global policymakers.

The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (“FXPA”) is a Washington-based organization that represents the collective interests of professional foreign exchange industry participants.  The group is designed to engage key regulators and policymakers through education, research, and advocacy, with the goal of advancing a sound, liquid, transparent and competitive global currency market.  See more at www.fxpa.org

FXPA Elects 2021 Board of Directors, Officers

The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) is announcing the results of its annual elections for Officers and Board Members for 2021, including the re-election of Chip Lowry, Senior Managing Director of State Street Global Markets, as Chair; Jill Sigelbaum, Head of FXall at Refinitiv, as Vice Chair; Jordan Barnett, MD, Global Head of Program Trading at BNY Mellon Global Markets as Secretary; and Paul Houston, Global Head of FX at CME Group as Treasurer.

In addition to the officer positions, which form the Executive Committee, the following were elected to the Board to serve two-year terms: Tod Van Name, Global Head of FX Electronic Trading, Bloomberg; Jordan Barnett, MD & Global Head of Program Trading, BNY Mellon Global Markets; Paul Houston, Global Head of FX, CME Group; Kevin Wolf, CEO, Euronext FX; and Trabue Bland, President, ICE Futures.

“With the recent US Presidential and Congressional transitions, 2021 poses unique risks to and opportunities for the FX markets, providing the FXPA the chance to ramp up meaningful engagement with legislators and regulators around the world,” says Lowry.

The new Board members join existing members: Lauren Rosborough Watt, Economics & Investment Manager, CalPERS; Jon Watras, Director FX Sales, EMEA, Cboe FX Markets; Tahreem Kampton, Senior Director, Microsoft; Christopher Matsko, Head of FX Trading Services, Portware; Jill Sigelbaum, Head of FXall, Refinitiv; KC Lam, Head of FX and Rates, Singapore Exchange (SGX); Chip Lowry, Senior Managing Director, State Street Global Markets.

The FXPA is the only industry body that represents a diverse cross-section of the institutional FX marketplace. Since 2014, the FXPA has established itself as a respected industry thought leader and resource for global policymakers.

State Street’s GlobalLink Joins FXPA

The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) is pleased to announce the addition of GlobalLink, State Street’s suite of e-trading platforms, technology, data and workflow solutions.

“GlobalLink is very pleased to join the FXPA where, as representatives for the Currenex and FX Connect platforms, we look forward to contributing to the dialogue with global regulators and policymakers that the FXPA engages in driving the evolution of the FX market structure for the benefit of all participants,” said David Newns, head of Execution Services for GlobalLink.

“FXPA’s diverse membership puts us in a strong position to represent the views of the FX industry in a unique capacity. We welcome the addition of State Street GlobalLink as our newest member and look forward to their input on a variety of important topics as we seek to advocate, inform and educate around key FX market structure issues,” says FXPA Chair, Lisa Shemie.

To find out how you can support the FX industry through education, research and advocacy, visit our website at www.fxpa.wpengine.combecome an institutional member, and sign up for our newsletter, FXPA globalFXsource.

The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (“FXPA”) is a Washington-based organization that represents the collective interests of professional foreign exchange industry participants.  The group is designed to engage key regulators and policymakers through education, research, and advocacy, with the goal of advancing a sound, liquid, transparent and competitive global currency market.  See more at www.fxpa.wpengine.com

FXPA Submits Comments to CFTC on SEF Reforms

Last week, the Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) submitted a comment letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regarding its proposed rulemaking on SEF reforms. 

FXPA’s letter was focused on the need for the CFTC to exempt NDFs and exchange-traded or cleared swaps from de minimis threshold calculations as part of any SEF reform.  

As FXPA’s letter noted, “[E]xempting exchange-traded and cleared swaps from AGNA calculations can improve SEF and DCM market volume and liquidity…Such an action would be a market-oriented solution to the problem of low SEF volume and liquidity.” 

FXPA also expressed appreciation for the CFTC’s interest in comprehensively updating its SEF regulations, “which were last comprehensively reviewed over five years ago”.

FXPA’s comment letter can be found here.

FXPA Announces New Officers, Board Members

The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) voted in a slate of new Board and Officers members at its annual meeting on February 5. 

In roles that took effect March 1, 2019, Lisa Shemie, Associate General Counsel of Cboe Global Markets and Chief Legal Officer of Cboe FX and Cboe SEF, was elected as the group’s new Chair; Jill Sigelbaum, Head of FXall, Refinitiv, was elected Vice Chair; Paul Houston, Global Head of FX, CME Group, was tapped as Treasurer; and Jason Vitale, Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer FX & Head of Client Execution, BNY Mellon, was re-elected as Secretary.

Shemie succeeds two-term Chair Chip Lowry, Senior Managing Director at State Street Global Markets.  “Chip has been a fantastic Chair of the FXPA, and his energy, ideas and leadership have resulted in a stronger and more visible organization poised to be even more impactful going forward. I look forward to continuing to work with Chip during the years ahead and to leaning on him for his assistance and guidance as I take on this role.” 

Sigelbaum replaces Jonathon O’Donnell, Investment Manager at CalPERS, in the Vice Chair role, while Houston succeeds Sean Tully, Senior Managing Director at CME Group, who has held the Treasurer role for the past two terms.

Members new to the Board include Lauren Rosborough Watt, Economics & Investment Manager, CalPERS; Mark Bruce, Head of FICC, Jump Trading; Laine Litman, Global Markets Group, Virtu Financial; and Houston of CME. David Goone, Chief Strategy Officer at ICE, Jessica Sohl, President, HC Technologies;Tod Van Name, Global Head of FX Electronic Trading at Bloomberg; and Vitale of BNY Mellon, were re-elected to the Board. The latest appointments join current Board members Christopher Matsko, Head of FX Trading Services, Portware; Tahreem Kampton, Senior Director, Microsoft; KC Lam, Head of FX and Rates, Singapore Exchange (SGX); as well as Lowryof State Street; Sigelbaum of Refinitiv; and Shemie of Cboe.

During the annual meeting, Shemie, FXPA’s new Chair, shared a proposed vision of the group’s mission, as well as ideas for efforts in the year ahead, including working groups focused on micro FX issues of interest to its membership, as well as advocacy, education and collaboration with other industry groups so as to secure a meaningful role in the continued development of global currency trading market structure and norms.Launched in September 2014, FXPA is a Washington, DC-based organization that represents the collective interests of a full array of professional foreign exchange industry participants. The group was developed to engage key regulators, policymakers, the news media and general public through education, research and advocacy, with the goal of advancing a sound, liquid, transparent, and competitive global currency market. 

FXPA Welcomes Fifth Third Bank as Associate Member

The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) is pleased to announce the addition of Fifth Third Bank as the newest Associate level member of the FX trade group.

“The more we learned about FXPA, the more we realized that the core values of Fifth Third Bank and FXPA were aligned. We fully support the advancement of competitive currency markets in a constantly changing global landscape. The commitment to educating all participants on industry issues is a positive endeavor that we want to be part of,” says Bob Tull, SVP, Global Head of Financial Risk Management at Fifth Third Bank.

“We are very excited to now be a member of FXPA. We believe we can provide unique perspectives on issues faced by regional banks and look forward to working with FXPA on current and future initiatives,” says Tim Lyons, MD, Head Trader – FX & Derivatives, at Fifth Third Bank.

“A diversity of perspectives is a key pillar of FXPA,” says FXPA Chairman Chip Lowry. “FXPA represents a broad group of constituents that have come together to collectively help shape the future of the FX industry, and we are pleased to welcome Fifth Third Bank as our first regional bank member.”

Launched in September 2014, FXPA is uniquely comprised of a cross-section of the institutional FX industry. Diversity of membership is embedded in FXPA’s organizational construct to ensure wide representation of the professional FX market. Founding members epitomize this diversity – including the buy side, exchanges, clearing houses, trading platforms, technology companies, banks and non-bank market participants.

The FXPA is a Washington, DC-based organization that represents the collective interests of the full array of professional foreign exchange industry participants. The group was developed to engage key regulators, policymakers, the news media and general public through education, research and advocacy, with the goal of advancing a sound, liquid, transparent, and competitive global currency market.

To find out how you can support the FX industry through education, research and advocacy, visit our website at www.fxpa.wpengine.com,become an institutional member, sign up for our newsletter, FXPA globalFXsource.

CFTC Faces Challenges to Implement SEF Rule Changes

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) might struggle to implement recently proposed changes to the Swap Execution Facility (SEF) rules in their current format, said Justin Slaughter, a partner at Mercury Strategies, and counsel to the Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) on a webinar hosted by the FX trade association.

On November 5, 2018, CFTC Commissioners voted in favor of proposed amendments to the rules governing SEFs and the trade execution requirement, with Chairman Christopher Giancarlo signaling his intention to finalize revised rules next year. In a detailed release issued by the CFTC, a number of significant changes to the SEF rules were proposed.

The Commission aims to increase the number of swaps being traded on these platforms by expanding the number of swap execution platforms that must register as SEFs, allowing a SEF to offer any means of execution for swaps and by requiring all swaps that must be cleared under the CFTC’s clearing mandate to be executed on a SEF. In addition, the Commission is proposing to allow SEFs more flexibility to choose which types of market participants may access each SEF.

The CFTC is seeking to increase the number of SEF registrants by proposing that swaps broking entities that facilitate multiple-to-multiple swaps trading that does not occur on SEFs and trading systems or single-dealer platforms that aggregate one-to-many systems have to register as SEFs.

The Commission is also proposing that a swap can be executed on a SEF via any means of interstate commerce. This is a significant change from the current requirement that swaps subject to the trade execution mandate be traded through a central limit order book (CLOB) or by sending a request for quote (RFQ) to at least three unaffiliated market participants. This change could pave the way for more voice broking in the swaps market.

Another proposed change is to the trade execution mandate. The CFTC wants to remove the current Made Available to Trade (MAT) determination for swaps to become subject to the trade execution mandate, a process that requires CFTC review. Instead, it is proposing that any swap that is subject to the clearing mandate would automatically be required to be traded on a SEF or designated contract market (DCM) if the swap is listed for trading on at least one CFTC-registered SEF or DCM. The impact of this is likely to be that many more swaps products will be forced onto these platforms.

The Commission is advocating for changes to the requirement of SEFs to offer impartial access to market participants, instead stating that they must offer “fair and non-discriminatory” access to “all or similarly situated market participants”. What this means in practice is that SEFs will be able to deny access to specific classes of market participants, so they could, for example, decide to only allow bank dealers onto their platform.


Elsewhere, the CFTC proposes to facilitate a broader range of swaps trading activity on SEFs and promote pre-trade price transparency by limiting pre-arranged trading and pre-execution communications that occur outside of SEFs and has requested comments regarding the use of the “post-trade name give-up” practice on SEFs for swaps that are intended to be cleared.

During the FXPA webinar, Slaughter claimed that the reaction to these proposed rules from the financial services industry has this far been “fairly tepid” because, as he put it, everyone “has something to love about this rule, something to hate about this rule, something to fear about this rule”.

Interestingly, he highlighted that since the proposed rule changes were released, there have been some conversations amongst the banks about possibly creating SEFs themselves in the form of single-dealer aggregation platforms in a bid to disintermediate the existing SEFs.

“That’s going to be a continued point of conflict going forward,” said Slaughter.

However, love it or loathe it, Slaughter also suggested that will be challenging for the Commission to implement these rules in their current form. Part of this comes down to timing, he explained.

There’s a 75-day comment period for the rule changes proposed, and Slaughter said that while Giancarlo’s office is strenuously opposed to any extension of this comment period, there are already rumblings from market participants that they need more time to digest what is a long and complex piece of text. 

“[Giancarlo’s office] are on a very tight schedule. They want to get this done as early as late spring, which strikes me is unrealistic, but at the very latest by early fall of next year,” said Slaughter.

He continued: “Once the comment period ends, the CFTC’s process for actually dealing with the comments and moving forward is, in a word, Byzantine. Unlike popular belief, there is no automated process for reviewing comments, it’s all done manually often by only one or two people inside the building. They have to read every comment together and summarize them internally and then they have to respond to the comments one-by-one or be at risk of violating the Administrative Procedure Act.”

As such, Slaughter predicted that it will take months for the CFTC to provide a comment summary, even if they allocate a substantial amount of what he described as already overtaxed staff to the task. Once this is done, then there are internal negotiations that take place between the Commissioners, with Slaughter estimating that there will be at least one month of negotiations and edits to the proposed rule changes at this point in the process.

The reason why this timeline is particularly significant is because Giancarlo, who has been the driving force behind these possible swaps market reforms, is due to end his term as Chairman and as a Commissioner in next year with Heath Tarbert, who currently serves as assistant secretary for international markets at Treasury, set to be nominated as his replacement.

“The timeline we’re operating under to get this rule done, with a Chairman who wants to leave as soon as it’s done and maybe an administration that wants to replace him is very, very fraught,” said Slaughter. “[Giancarlo’s] going to move as fast as he can, but it’s not clear you can get this entire thing done. That leads to my belief that what’s going to end up happening is that this rule is going to get cut into pieces and a large chunk of it is going to get finished, but not all of it, and what gets included is going to be key.”

Even beyond this, Slaughter highlighted other possible challenges to the implementation of the rule changes.

For example, he said that they could be vulnerable to legal challenges because the proposal is required to go through a cost-benefit analysis before it can be introduced, and the CFTC says that it actually can’t estimate the cost of this proposal because it doesn’t have enough data. This, according to Slaughter, is “a big red flag” that will see the proposal potentially attacked by a variety of opponents to it.

In addition, he pointed to broader political trends in the US that might make it more difficult to implement the rule changes at speed.

“Mercury Strategies is anticipating there will be several funding lapses potentially in the next 12 months. Under the current Federal rules and laws, the CFTC does not get to continue to have much of its staff working in the event of a funding lapse. In 2013, 97% of the staff had to go home during the government shutdown,” said Slaughter. 

He added: “Every time there’s a shutdown it basically it makes it harder to finish this rule.” 

The FXPA presentation can be found here.