How HSBC's Vijay Kasilingam is still working

Part of an FIA series on people in the derivatives industry adapting to coronavirus challenges

12 May 2020


Vijay Kasilingam, Trading Facilities and CCP Management, HSBC

What’s one significant way coronavirus has affected your work?

A large part of my role has involved travelling to conduct CCP due diligence; however, this has not been possible with the global lockdown restrictions. In spite of this, I have been able to provide daily updates to senior management throughout this period by keeping in regular contact with my established contacts at CCPs and exchanges. In addition, the support of FIA and other industry associations has been invaluable. Their efforts to centralise discussions with market infrastructure venues, thereby reducing repeated bilateral calls, has provided banks with a consistent and transparent view. As much as I miss the travelling, spending more time with my family while working from home and continuing to engage with industry partners is testament to our ability to adapt.

What’s a typical day like for you right now as we “shelter in place”?

My wife and I typically split the day so I spend the early morning with my son who’s 4.5 years and my nearly 3-year-old  daughter, then she takes over childcare for the rest of the day and I work at my desk. I’m fortunate to have loft space, which allows me to talk with colleagues, hold meetings and still monitor the resilience of CCPs and exchanges without interruption. It is challenging sometimes, as my children are young and not used to me working at home; they want my company more often than I thought! So I have their train set and some books around me in case they want me during breaks.

What’s something that has given you hope for the future after this pandemic?

This is an extraordinary time in human history and probably unimaginable just six months ago. For markets, we see the majority of traders and front-office staff working at home and still fulfilling their obligations; CCPs and exchange groups are essentially all conducting business in BCP mode and operating split-sites, yet remain robust. The capacity of people to innovate using technology and keep critical infrastructure firms fully operational during these unprecedented times makes me hopeful for the future.

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