We are currently putting together a rich conference programme that will be available in June 2019.
Below is a selection of sessions we have drafted for the main conference programme.

All sessions are built under the theme “Thriving in a hyper-connected world”:

E-commerce and trade platforms are appearing across different types of industries to support clients ranging from retail to SMEs to multinational corporates. Once an exchange is confirmed, the payment must be quick and secure. While virtual wallets, cryptocurrencies, credit cards, and bank-specific solutions may meet this need for some, many others are still waiting on a solution that is both efficient and standardised. Our panel will explore the payment methods taking root in today’s ecosystems and look at what is needed to put them on a firm ground.

Cross-border payments have become increasing quick, and in many cases settle almost instantly. For those in international commerce, the expectation today that a payment should not slow down the selling or buying experience. Still, 2- 5% of cross-border payments are subject to an enquiry or investigation, resulting in a lag in the payment being completed. These are often due to compliance or document checks, but not always. Enquiry management is costing banks 25-35 times more than payment processing itself, and efforts to automate have so far had very limited results. This panel will look at the remaining roadblocks on the last mile towards reaching 100% frictionless payments, what is needed to resolve these pain points, and who is best placed to make it a reality.

While cross-border payments are now easier than ever before, the world has not stopped moving. Change continues apace, everything is expected immediately, geopolitics is increasing regulation, and data is everywhere. What is the new "business as usual" and what does this mean for cross-border payments? This session will give you an outside-in view of customer expectations in today’s cross-border payments landscape and what the industry must do to respond.

Banks have successfully shown that they can deliver fast, even instant, cross-border payments around the world with SWIFT gpi. With more and more banks joining the service, can traditional payment providers regain the market share lost over the past few years to alternative providers offering cross-border payment models? When it comes to scale and market share in instant payments - what level of ambition is realistic for banks? Do instant payments level the playing field in favour of banks versus fintechs or do they simply relegate them to the role of payment processing pipes?

Financial crime obligations are more complex than ever and carry major cost and efficiency implications for the correspondent banking industry. Chief executive officers see this as the greatest threat to business growth. There are many opportunities for improvements to the compliance processes of today, how might we utilise the experience we’ve gained as an industry, the technologies of today, and modern business practices to design compliance in the future? Utilities are now being used for KYC due diligence, helping to improve time-to-market and processing costs. What other problems could utilities solve? Are ecosystem strategies the way to propel banks in to the future?

APIs are an enabler for seamless interactions on platforms across industries, with financial services now becoming a hotbed of activity Currently, API adoption is driven by both regulations (PSD2, OpenBanking), and the emergence of fintechs, leading to fragmentation in approach, which introduces friction into this aspiration of seamless experience With the ongoing “platform revolution” the adoption of APIs is no longer an aspiration, but a necessity.

Blockchain initiatives are everywhere and the technology is heralded as the solution to every business problem. But what are the real risk and opportunities from a compliance perspective? Does blockchain provide opportunities to simplify and speed regulatory compliance? Or will it increase the regulatory burden and introduce complexity for monitoring and risk assessments? Is blockchain based transparency beneficial and how should this balance the need for data privacy? If compliance embraces blockchain could we transform the KYC landscape, simplify due-diligence, improve information exchange or reduce the cost of regulatory checks? Or is it just BAU for compliance as the transport changes but the regulatory challenges remain the same?

The Cloud question is hotly debated: but how do you decide what is right for your organisation? IT leaders need to constantly assess the benefits of new technology in the context of the businesses they serve. Cloud strategy is no different. Which is better – private, public, hybrid or none at all? Can you stay relevant without moving to the Cloud?

Asset managers are facing demands from regulators for greater transparency and better protection of investors. This is increasing operational risks for service providers, and inflating demands for richer and more up-to-date information. With fees compressed and margins under pressure from falling equity markets, asset managers are also looking to cut costs in the middle and back office, leading to unbundling of fees and downward pressure on prices in the securities services industry. Lower and more volatile returns in the equity and bond markets is encouraging asset managers to invest in private and out-of-network asset classes and expand distribution into new markets. New digital technologies are simultaneously reducing the reliance of asset managers on their service providers. With their revenues squeezed, risks increasing, service demands rising and clients more mobile, securities services providers are looking to reinvent their business models with innovative cost-saving technologies, partnerships with asset managers and technology companies and new data management services. At Sibos in Sydney, we asked industry experts whether new asset management business models had the power to disrupt the post-trade ecosystem. In this session we will explore how the pace of change on all fronts has accelerated across the industry.

Since the financial crisis a decade ago, securities market infrastructures (SMIs) have become increasingly important to both operational efficiency and risk management. Both central securities depositories (CSDs) and central counterparties have become subject to both direct regulatory measures and pressure to subscribe to international standards, increasing their burden of compliance. By centralising functions, they have transformed the nature and management of risk, and assumed a systemically important role in financial markets. This has turned them into tempting targets for cyber-attacks, forcing them to invest heavily in defences. New technologies such as blockchain pose a threat to their core functions while also offering them new opportunities in fields such as crypto-asset settlement and custody, and the governance of distributed ledger networks. To manage the threats and seize the opportunities SMIs are investing in partnerships with each other and with Fintech and exploring new business opportunities often far removed from the securities industry.

The securities services industry has invested heavily in robotic process automation (RPA). This has increased operational efficiency through the automation of repetitive manual processes. AI has the potential to do far more than increase efficiency and cut costs, however. It can, by enabling machines to learn autonomously and process information couched in natural language audio or text, transform the economics and capabilities of a business. This makes it a source of durable competitive differentiation. Potential use-cases include predicting the behaviour of customers, detecting cyber-attacks, matching trades, calculating margin calls, identifying fraudulent or likely-to-fail transactions, solving client queries, maintaining data privacy, and automating compliance obligations. It can shorten go-to-market timescales for new products and services and cut the cost of customising services to individual clients. Above all, cognitive AI can expand the range of tasks susceptible to RPA, enlarging its impact throughout the back office.

Asset managers face a challenge in securing the trust of the millennial generation. Yet they have no choice but to succeed, because the children of the baby-boomers now entering their highest-earning years will own the wealth that they will manage in the future. They will also inherit wealth from their parents, creating a market worth an estimated $30 trillion in the early 2020s. In order to match the values of the millennials, all major asset managers are launching green, clean, ethical, sustainable, and socially responsible and socially impactful funds, and stepping up their corporate governance activities. They are also developing digital distribution, cost transparency and client reporting services, to defend their existing franchises from FinTech competitors unconstrained by technological legacies. For service providers to the asset management industry, serving the needs of the millennial generation is rich in opportunities to provide a supportive digital infrastructure, valuation and safekeeping services for esoteric asset classes and investment mandate monitoring services.

Can business be driven between two organisations without personal relationships in place and how much value is actually created by the personal relationships in corporate banking? In this session we will explore the shifting definition of relationships driven by the arrival of the smart phone and Apps culture. We will explore what the value of a relationship is and what corporate banking will look like in the post relationship age. We are moving from transactional today to more value add and strategic as more and more of the current activities move towards automation, robotics and machine learning with “Industry 4.0” bedding in. As the industry navigates the changes that are happening, we will explore what the key areas are in which services, products and relationships need to change.

The headlines on trade wars, tariffs and tightening borders could suggest that global trade growth is declining but is it really? At the same time, technology evolution, the smartphone revolution and consumer expectations are driving financial services and corporate banking to be more connected, faster and more convenient. In this session, we’ll take a look through the corporate banking and treasury lens to explore what treasurers are actually looking for to manage their global operations efficiently and deliver increased strategic value to their organisations.

Trade finance landscape has been dominated by emergence of new technologies and tech driven platforms over the last few years. How have corporate needs for trade finance evolved? Is there a change in demand compared to the past or are funding, pricing and service still the primary drivers for corporate demand? What are the growing trade finance products and how are banks responding to slowing documentary trade volumes? How do corporates see the value proposition of existing solutions versus those that are emerging? Hear from industry leaders from the banking, corporate and technology world to understand the challenges, opportunities and impact of these new technologies.

The FX markets are large, fragmented and not as liquid or well understood as many observers claim. Data about the size of the markets, and the market shares of different instruments, participants and service providers, is incomplete. The FX markets have also suffered from a stream of confidence-sapping scandals, prosecutions and litigation by buy-side clients, but cannot be regulated directly on a global basis. Instead, regulators have sought to address behavioural issues by encouraging market participants to subscribe to the principles of the FX Global Code, which has so far attracted more support from the sell-side than the buy-side. Some say price transparency is the best solution, while others favour shifting to on-exchange trading and centralised clearing. The threat of direct regulation has yet to recede completely, and all the main market participants are regulated in the jurisdictions where they operate, so it is not totally impractical. Meanwhile digital technology has already empowered new entrants to the FX markets, and promises to cut post-trade costs dramatically as well, though it will take time to prove if that promise can be fulfilled. In short, the FX markets are in flux, but it is their future shape which is being decided now by a complex interplay of regulation, innovation and technology.

The FX markets are routinely described as large and deep and liquid. But a daily average turnover of $6 trillion conceals massive fluctuations even in major currency pairs around particular times of day – notably the gap that occurs between the closure of the market in New York and the opening of the markets in Asia - or when fresh news is released. Emerging market currencies are scarcely liquid at all. Technology has changed the sources and nature of liquidity. 25 years ago, liquidity depended on traders on telephones looking at prices on green screens. The massive falls in the price of bandwidth and computing power since then has revolutionised the way currencies are traded, and the types of people that trade them, and created a host of new trading platforms, trading methods and trading firms. While the Tier 1 banks still provide the bulk of underlying market liquidity, many banks offer scarcely any liquidity at all, while a handful of non-bank liquidity providers have become extremely important. Liquidity is now scattered across multiple venues and market participants. End-consumers no longer trust their FX execution agents. Flash crashes, and other extravagant price movements, are ascribed to the rise of algorithmic trading. It was never more important to understand what liquidity is, and where it comes from.

Like every financial market, the FX markets are rife with FinTechs promising to use powerful digital technology to cut the costs of trading, buying and selling, or settling currency pairs. Incumbents are investing in new technology themselves, or partnering with technology vendors, or backing FinTech ventures. FinTechs have already reduced the costs of exchanging currencies, even for retail investors. They are improving the terms of trade for corporates, asset managers and end-investors too. More and better data has spawned price transparency services and enhanced transaction cost analysis. It has also made it easier to detect market manipulation, fraudulent transactions, and money laundering. FinTechs are active in the back and middle offices too, eradicating or reducing post-trade costs such as matching, credit checks, netting and compression. Crypto-currencies may yet turn the FX markets upside down. But distinguishing between innovations that deliver incremental improvements to existing services or solve long term problems and those that are merely technology solutions in search of an operational problem to solve, is not easy. Which is why this session is putting FX FinTechs to the only test that matters: will customers buy it?

The answer might be both because in practice on-exchange trading and centralised clearing are linked. Exchanges play a limited role in the FX markets of today - no more than $100 billion of a $6 trillion a day market – and only one exchange has significant volume. But there are three reasons to think that on-exchange trading may be on the cusp of expansion. First, regulators like the idea. Secondly, there is pressure to clear trades centrally to mitigate the impact of the uncleared margin rules, which start to bite next year, and on-exchange trading generates capital savings. Thirdly, the major exchange groups are buying trading platforms to position themselves for a future in which on-exchange and off-exchange business is integrated. Fourthly, there is a strong growth in non-deliverable contracts (NDFs) in emerging markets where regulatory barriers to trading exist, exchanges have identified this activity as an opportunity, and cash settlement makes it easier to clear trades. The FX markets just might, after many years of anticipation, be about to shift to on-exchange trading and centralised clearing.

In this session, we will explore the practical applications of automation, machine learning and AI in the financial crime compliance space to find out if this has changed the way compliance professionals work. Has technology replaced jobs and helped people work better, or increased the complexity of an already convoluted process?

The financial services sector is in the vanguard of deploying artificial intelligence (AI) worldwide. However, the technology has the potential to be either a transformative and beneficial force, or destabilising with the potential to even be existential threat. How is AI is shifting strategic priorities and competitive dynamics in the financial services sector? What’s happening to privacy? Who owns the data and where is the consumer in all of this?

How will we protect privacy, solve identity and instil trust in a world where many millennials don’t seem to be aware of the serious issues and still share everything with everybody the whole time? We will also explore the potential security solutions of the future - can we finally get rid of having to remember all those passwords?

The re-skilling revolution is sweeping across the financial sector. Data Science, AI/machine learning, and a growing need for digital ethics are all central to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and all require skills profiles that differ markedly from that traditionally sought by financial institutions. The realisation that the world of work will need different skills, has led to major institutions setting up specific training tracks to upskill their existing workforce. Life-long learning offers a chance to bridge into technology, enabling staff to bring their experience and soft skills to enhance their new careers. Will technology widen access to (re)training, opening up the new jobs to talent currently under-represented in finance? Can financial institutions use re-skilling programmes to inject fresh perspectives into their innovation teams? Or will technology perpetuate the biases of today? In this session you will hear from thought leaders and innovators about their experiences and aspirations for technology re-skilling in the future of work.

Today’s payments landscape is rapidly changing to improve the customer experience. Payments are increasingly fast and banks now need to balance their customer demands for speed with regulatory demands for financial crime and risk controls. New technologies and processes are emerging to tackle this problem, but how ready is the industry to embrace these changes, and how will regulators react? What have we seen so far, and what can we expect in the future for compliant, real-time payments?

Blockchain initiatives are everywhere and the technology is heralded as the solution to every business problem. But what are the real risk and opportunities from a compliance perspective? Does blockchain provide opportunities to simplify and speed regulatory compliance? Or will it increase the regulatory burden and introduce complexity for monitoring and risk assessments? Is blockchain based transparency beneficial and how should this balance the need for data privacy? If compliance embraces blockchain could we transform the KYC landscape, simplify due-diligence, improve information exchange or reduce the cost of regulatory checks? Or is it just BAU for compliance as the transport changes but the regulatory challenges remain the same?

After a year of uncertainty about the impact of global trade wars, we are seeing the real impact in 2019 with forecasts for lower growth of trade. What is the outlook for trade and are there opportunities that promise a bright future? How are banks coping with fall-out from increased tariffs and their impact on movement of goods and services? Are there clear winners and losers in trade wars? What are the lessons learned so far? Join us to hear from an expert panel on the situation across the regions and what the opportunities are counter balancing some of the headwinds.

As we look to outsource more data and services to a set of trusted cloud providers such as AWS, Google and MS Azure this might promote a faster go-to-market but is there a downside? In this session, we will look at whether this concentration risk represents a cybersecurity catastrophe just waiting to happen?

How will we protect privacy, solve identity and instil trust in a world where many millennials don’t seem to be aware of the serious issues and still share everything with everybody the whole time? We will also explore the potential security solutions of the future - can we finally get rid of having to remember all those passwords?

Distributed Ledger Technology provides decentralised benefits in terms of transparency and non-repudiation. As the bad guys are well funded and sophisticated, in this session we will look into whether DLT could be hacked?

The FX markets are large, fragmented and not as liquid or well understood as many observers claim. Data about the size of the markets, and the market shares of different instruments, participants and service providers, is incomplete. The FX markets have also suffered from a stream of confidence-sapping scandals, prosecutions and litigation by buy-side clients, but cannot be regulated directly on a global basis. Instead, regulators have sought to address behavioural issues by encouraging market participants to subscribe to the principles of the FX Global Code, which has so far attracted more support from the sell-side than the buy-side. Some say price transparency is the best solution, while others favour shifting to on-exchange trading and centralised clearing. The threat of direct regulation has yet to recede completely, and all the main market participants are regulated in the jurisdictions where they operate, so it is not totally impractical. Meanwhile digital technology has already empowered new entrants to the FX markets, and promises to cut post-trade costs dramatically as well, though it will take time to prove if that promise can be fulfilled. In short, the FX markets are in flux, but it is their future shape which is being decided now by a complex interplay of regulation, innovation and technology.