Ross, in just a few words, explain what your job entails?
Listening, translating, fine-tuning and applying.
What has been one of the industry’s biggest achievements in the last six months?
After years of limited volatility, driven by a collective refusal of Central Banks to allow a correction in asset valuations, a sharp increase in price action has been seen – and infrastructures have been more than able to cope. Domestically we saw an uptick ahead of the December 2019 election, but the real test was as markets acknowledged the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic in Q1 2020. Volatility returned to levels not seen since the financial crisis, but the market structure has fundamentally changed significantly since then. The 2015 SNB move on EUR/CHF proved the catalyst for some Tier One banks pulling out of the liquidity market whilst others looked to internalise flow, however even against a backdrop of a low probability, high impact event, the liquidity could be found.
How will the industry innovate in the future?
What has been fascinating in the last 2 months is that not only are core industry stakeholders in a position to deliver what clients want as normal but have been also in a position to adapt and be dynamic even when markets do seemingly impossible things. The future will inevitably bring yet more challenges, but the recent events show us that we are not only well prepared for shocks but also able reposition ourselves as and when required.
You mentioned Central Banks earlier – what happens from here?
That’s a very difficult question to answer. Policymakers have been determined to preserve asset values since the credit crisis over a decade ago and the rebound in many equity prices since the rout at the end of March has been eye catching. It suggests there’s little desire to see a shift away from the status quo for now. Just how long this can be sustained before we need to arrive at a new normal for monetary policy is something that many of us would be keen to learn.
What’s been your favourite box set or TV series to watch over the past few months?
Ozark. It was recommended by some friends living in the US and its very good, a bit dark in places but the ideas the writers come up with are good and its true calculated desperation which makes it so edgy.