25 Mar 2021


Bringing together a global community: the Derivatives Forum Frankfurt 2021

The fourth edition of Eurex’s Derivatives Forum took place virtually from 23 to 24 March and was packed with debate, exchange and thought leadership. The Derivatives Forum has quickly grown to become Europe’s leading event covering not just derivatives trading and clearing, but a range of related financial market topics such as repo, collateral management and asset allocation.

The event was kicked off with a welcome from CNBC’s Annette Weisbach – who also moderated a range of panels across the event – and an opening address from Eurex CEO Michael Peters. Peters reinforced both the Derivatives Forum’s global scope – the event received over 3,000 registrations from around the world – as well as the importance of Frankfurt as a financial center. Indeed, as Peters said, “it’s fair to conclude that Frankfurt has the strong support of the international finance community as a globally recognized hub for derivatives trading, as well as risk and collateral management”.  

The Forum’s agenda included a range of keynotes from several specialists and industry leaders, including Jörg Kukies from the German Federal Finance Ministry. In his speech on “Current financial market policy priorities”, he covered areas such as financial regulation in the wake of recent scandals and looked at how the nature of capital market regulation may change in the future. Other keynotes covered topics such as the implications of the EU Green Deal, the impact of digitalization on derivatives markets, the economics of central clearing, and more.

Other keynotes over the two days included Klaus Löber, Chair of ESMA’s CCP Supervisory Committee on “Evolving risks and supervisory responses”; J.P. Morgan’s Chuka Umunna and Charles Bristow on “The implications of the EU Green Deal for the financial markets”; Professor Albert Menkveld of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on “The economics of central clearing”; Deutsche Bank’s CFO James von Moltke on “Digitalization and the future of derivatives”; Christian Mueller-Glissmann from Goldman Sachs on “Asset Allocation and risks at the zero lower bound”; and POLITICO’s Bjarke Smith-Meyer on “EU financial policy: what is driving the day?”.

Of course, the core of the Derivatives Forum is the range of panels on offer where participants can debate and exchange on issues of importance to both the derivatives industry and the broader financial markets. This year’s event did not disappoint in this respect, with over 30 panels covering topics as diverse as the evolution of market marking, digitization and the tokenization of securities, and the development of fixed income ESG. Eurex Clearing CEO Erik Müller discussed the implications for the financial markets of political and macro-economic developments within the EU and beyond.

Alongside the keynotes and panels, a highlight of the first afternoon was Annette Weisbach interviewing Thomas Book, Member of the Executive Board, responsible for Trading & Clearing, at Deutsche Börse. Book covered several topics such as how Covid-19 continues to accelerate key financial market trends, naming investment themes like the shift from active to passive and to sustainable investing, regulation that shifts OTC volumes onto exchange and to central clearing, as well as technology. “With our cross-asset class coverage, deep margin and liquidity pools, and our key ambition to be the venue of choice for buy-side firms, we are well positioned for these trends,” Book emphasized.

Panels at this year’s event were organized across five main streams – Markets & Regulation, Derivatives & Portfolio Management, Liquidity & Collateral Management, Technology & Innovation, and Responsible Investing – and saw contributions from the buy and sell sides, as well as from fintechs, regulators, academics and industry journalists.

Many thanks to all our prime sponsors – Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and SIG Susquehanna – co-sponsors and media sponsors, keynote speakers, panelists and attendees for contributing to making Derivatives Forum Frankfurt 2021 such a success.