September 2011 and once again it’s time to head out to Sibos, this year to Toronto, to spend a week discussing the finer points of post trade infrastructure and most recently, its role in restoring the faith of investors and policymakers in financial markets. To those of you not in the know, you may think that this is a dull subject, but you’d be amazed to find out that a week spent absorbed in the post trade space serves up more intrigue and unknowns than you’d get in a David Lynch movie.
Moreover, for any PR claiming to be an expert in communication in financial markets infrastructure, Sibos is a key date in the calendar, particularly in the wake of the GFC – Global Financial Crisis – a slightly irritating but useful acronym. Not only does the event provide you with the opportunity to network with clients and peers, the panels and keynote speeches help you to form opinions on global macro financial themes, as well as build-up your knowledge of technical matters relating to the various legislative initiatives in the US and Europe – Dodd Frank, EMIR and MiFID II. There are also one or two free parties as well.
As a specialist PR in financial markets, as well as the infrastructure which underpins it, I think the GFC has made it even more important to attend industry events like Sibos and TradeTech. Whereas technical knowledge used to be the preserve of financial PRs and investor relations specialists, the need to have command of esoteric and technical matters has become a pre-requisite if you want to be a serious player in corporate and business to business PR in financial markets.
Industry events are critical in building that specialist knowledge.
I would go as far to say that without technical knowledge of the regulatory and economic environment, it is impossible to operate as a PR in financial markets. Since the beginning of the GFC, the biggest part of our job has become digesting and assimilating regulatory, economic, and financial news and advising clients on how to – or how not to – act on it in the public domain. The latest unofficial MiFID 2 document which is currently doing the rounds is a perfect example of this. Over the past couple of weeks we have helped clients articulate their positioning around it and promulgated their views to the influential journalists covering the topic, which is not something we could have done without the requisite technical knowledge. Industry events like Sibos have a key part to play in building that knowledge base. If you don’t know your OTF from your MTF, you may as well not bother.