Vassiliki Veliou, Head of Market Structure and Regulation, Eurex Frankfurt
What’s one significant way coronavirus has affected your work?
I'm responsible for analysing how regulations can impact our derivatives exchange ecosystem, interacting closely with internal and external stakeholders, and my team and I ensure regulatory compliance for Eurex. We also highlight regulatory matters to external stakeholders – regulators, market participants and associations like FIA – to work towards the most suitable outcome for derivatives markets and our industry. This means I do a lot of travelling, as most of our stakeholders are dispersed internationally, and communication is an essential part of my work life. In this regard, I have found that digital solutions have hugely supported my transition to working from a home office. The transition has actually worked out quite smoothly, although there were quirky moments in the first week where I would be typing away and forget momentarily that I was not in the office, and as a creature of routine, would look up to speak to a colleague and realise they weren’t there!
What’s a typical day like for you right now as we “shelter in place”?
Although my work location has changed and has deviated from the norm, the structure of my workday has pretty much continued in the same pattern. What I have found is that the frequency and intensity of communication and the digital channels I use have amplified to a level I could never imagine. The human and social aspects to work life are also essential, and we try to mimic that as much we can with the help of technology. We have a WhatsApp group, for example, where we exchange memes and jokes, and for me, these light-hearted moments, on top of the work that we are doing, have become important during this time.
What’s something that has given you hope for the future after this pandemic?
Watching people overcome challenges during this time gives me hope for the future. I've seen the passion and determination that Eurex employees have committed to the objective of providing stable and functioning markets, and this phenomenon of stepping up to the plate, I believe, is not only true for us, but for the entire financial industry and beyond. This pandemic has been a point of self-reflection and discoveries for millions of people and to see people learning new methodologies – for example, my mum learning how to Skype and video conference – overcoming obstacles, lending help unsolicited and really going above and beyond is really inspiring and makes me feel positive for the future. In one sentence, the positive face put forward by so many is refreshing and giving me hope.