FIA releases report on derivatives industry trends

11 March 2024

  • Report authored by Coalition Greenwich based on more than 200 responses to joint research study
  • Need for capital and operational efficiency is top priority for respondents
  • Economic uncertainty and market volatility key variable for trading volume over next five years
  • Regulatory reporting, allocations and give-ups ranked as top pain points in trading operations
  • Standardization and tokenization seen as potential game-changers for clearing workflow

Washington, D.C. – FIA today announces the release of a report authored by Coalition Greenwich on how participants in the global listed and cleared derivatives markets view current issues facing the industry as well as the key trends shaping the industry's future.

The 14-page report, Derivatives Market Structure 2024: Focusing on Capital and Workflow Efficiency, provides a unique perspective into the key drivers for the global clearing business. The report is based on findings from research of market participants conducted jointly by FIA and Coalition Greenwich, a provider of strategic benchmarking, analytics and insights to the financial services industry. The study was conducted in November and December 2023 and received responses from more than 200 people working at a wide range of firms, including brokers, clearing firms, asset managers, hedge funds, exchanges, and technology vendors.

The findings highlight a common theme across the responses – the urgent need for greater capital and operational efficiency. The impact of capital requirements is viewed as the single greatest issue facing the industry, and many respondents flagged the need for margin and collateral optimization as a top priority for their organizations. Regarding operational efficiency, respondents pointed to regulatory reporting and allocations/give-ups as the most urgent pain points in trading and clearing processes. They said that standardization of operational processes and tokenization in collateral management have the greatest potential to be "game changers" for the trading and clearing workflow.

The report also identifies several potential sources for growth in trading activity, a key metric for the health of the list and cleared derivatives markets. Research participants generally agreed that macro-economic uncertainty and financial market volatility had the greatest potential to stimulate more trading of derivatives over the next five years. On the other hand, the findings revealed differences within the industry on other potential drivers. Intermediaries such as clearing firms see relatively high potential in the rapidly growing futures and options markets in China and India. In contrast, two other industry segments – market operators such as exchanges and end-users such as asset managers – see relatively more potential from continued growth of retail participation.

The report is being released in conjunction with FIA's annual International Futures Industry Conference in Boca Raton, Fla. The conference brings together some 1,200 senior executives, thought leaders and government officials from more than 20 countries around the world to discuss current trends in the global listed and cleared derivatives industry.  

The research findings are based on responses from 210 individuals, including: 87 professionals working at clearing firms, brokers, swap dealers, and other intermediaries; 50 working at asset managers, hedge funds and other end users; and 30 working at exchanges, clearinghouses and other market infrastructure operators. The majority are focused on exchange-traded derivatives, but many are involved with cleared OTC derivatives such as interest-rate swaps. Half are based in North America, the other half split between Europe and Asia-Pacific. Questions explored the key drivers of change in the derivatives market, strategic priorities, challenges in today’s market, and how firms will respond to regulation and other market drivers going forward.


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