Sibos 2014 event preview from Swift's Chris Church

Chris Church, Swift’s chief executive of Americas and global head of securities, explains to Rebecca Gibson what he thinks will be the main topics at Sibos 2014

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 11 September 2014
Sibos 2014 event preview from Swift's Chris Church

Taking place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in the US from 29 September to 2 October, Sibos will bring together key figures from financial institutions, market infrastructures and technology vendors to showcase the new technologies and strategies that will shape the financial services industry. Hosted by Swift, the event will enable delegates to explore issues including regulatory compliance, cryptocurrencies and payments platforms.

What makes Sibos an important event and why are you attending?
Sibos is a unique financial services event that brings together around 7,000 decision makers and various topic experts that cover various global topics in just one week. The event is the place for financial institutions and other enterprises to do business and collectively shape the future of the financial industry. Swift is responsible for putting together Sibos and we look forward to using the opportunity to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest with our community. Naturally, we will also leverage the event to discuss our latest offerings with our customers in the Swift exhibit area.

What will you be showcasing?
At our exhibit stand this year, Swift will target five key business areas including: financial crime compliance, business intelligence, reference data, and services and connectivity. Over the past year, we’ve expanded our capabilities in these areas and have some new products to unveil and features to highlight. We will also host a charity drive again this year, where each Sibos delegate will be given a token to drop into the Swift Wishing Well located at our stand. Swift will match the proceeds and donate the funds to a local Boston-based charity.

What are you most looking forward to?
Personally, I am looking forward to attending the various forums, which are streamed by topic to help delegates plan their week. New this year is the Investment Managers Forum. As Swift’s global head of securities, I’m very much looking forward to bringing the investment management community together to explore the challenges they are facing and identify some of the common trends. My goal for Sibos is to better understand these recurring challenges and see how Swift can help alleviate some of the pressures facing that community. Another popular session will be the Corporates Forum, which will unite corporates and banks to discuss the issues and pain points in the corporate treasury sector. Meanwhile, the Market Infrastructure Forum, will feature high profile speakers – such as DTCC’s Michael Bodson and Christine Cumming from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York – sharing their views on some of the biggest challenges facing that market. It’s important for us to stay abreast of industry challenges and Sibos provide an ideal platform to address, and sometimes resolve, theses issues. Another highlight of the event will be the closing plenary which will feature Microsoft founder Bill Gates speaking on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

What do you think will be a key trend at the event?
I think there will be a few key themes highlighted at this year’s Sibos event. Clearly, regulation and compliance are bound to be a big topic of conversation, particularly in the areas of Know Your Customer, Anti-money Laundering and other financial crime initiatives. In addition, big data and how to manage it efficiently, effectively and securely is also a popular industry trend, so I expect cyber challenges to be high on the Sibos agenda as well. Innovation is always one of the primary focuses at Sibos and I predict that there will be a lot of discussion around the latest developments with cryptocurrencies and what this means for the industry.

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