FOA and FIA to combine

Source: Futures and Options Association

The Futures and Options Association and the Futures Industry Association today announced an agreement in principle to combine their two organisations under one global structure and brand called FIA Global.

Under this agreement, FIA—with its affiliate FIA Asia—will form a confederation with FOA under FIA Global. This new structure will enable the associations to strengthen their influence on cross-border issues, substantially increase the coordination and information flow between regions, and provide a powerful global voice to express the views of FOA and FIA members.

To reflect the affiliation with FIA and to enhance the development of a global brand, it is proposed that FOA will change its name to FIA Europe. Both organisations will continue to operate with their own leadership and staff, separate boards of directors, and distinct membership.

The boards of FOA and FIA believe that the proposed affiliation will strengthen their ability to address issues on a global level. At the same time, the new structure will preserve each association's ability to deal with legislative, regulatory and market issues in its respective time-zone and maintain direct local connections with its members.

The proposed affiliation builds on a longstanding working relationship between the two associations, as demonstrated by their joint conference in London, joint work on cross-border issues, overlapping membership, and shared interest in promoting the global derivatives markets. The initiative for the affiliation stems from the increasingly global nature of derivatives regulation. As global regulators implement the G-20 derivatives reforms, it has become increasingly clear that both regulators and market participants need new mechanisms to address the cross-border impact of these reforms and work together on the development of global standards.

The proposed affiliation between FOA and FIA will achieve the following goals:
• enable the associations to speak as one global voice to better reflect and represent the cross-border nature of the derivatives business;
• extend the global reach of the industry and strengthen the influnfluence of the associations both locally and globally;
• enable the associations to pool and target resources and expertise as issues arise regionally and around the globe; and
• enable the associations, wherever possible, to align their policies and strategies to create operational and regulatory efficiencies for their global members.

Steve Sparke, Chairman of the Futures and Options Association: "The Board of the FOA is entirely supportive of the proposed affiliation, which will substantially strengthen our capability to address the global issues which are impacting all of our members, while critically preserving the ability to take the lead role in the European arena."

Michael Dawley, Chairman of Futures Industry Association: "The value created by combining these organisations is multifold. With a global voice and brand, we will have the platform to efficiently and effectively maximise our efforts on behalf of the collective membership. The current focus on the critical need for international regulatory coordination highlights our belief that this combination couldn't come at a more important moment in time. We are confident that the benefits will be immediate and of crucial importance to the global listed derivatives community."

Anthony Belchambers, chief executive officer of Futures and Options Association: "This builds on a transatlantic partnership which has been growing in strength for more than a decade and will put both organisations in a better position to meet a new wave of global challenges and lead the way towards greater harmonisation of international regulatory standards."

Walt Lukken, President and Chief Executive Officer of Futures Industry Association: "This new affiliation will address a major industry concern-the fragmentation of derivatives markets along jurisdictional lines. Through this new affiliation we will be better able to coordinate our responses to global issues and provide industry support for global standards. This will be tremendously beneficial for our members and policymakers alike."

The agreement in principle has been approved by the boards of directors of FOA and FIA. Next it will be presented to FOA members for a vote on the necessary constitutional changes at a membership meeting, as required by FOA Articles of Association. That meeting is provisionally scheduled for July 24. Implementation of the proposals will also be subject to the formation of FIA Global and the necessary constitutional changes to the bylaws of the FIA. In the interim, FOA and FIA expect to organise several briefings for members to describe the new structure, explain the benefits, and answer questions. 

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