Walt Lukken kicked off the FIA Boca-V conference, not from a stage in Boca Raton, Florida, but from his office in Washington, D.C. He was dressed in a dark jacket and pink tie. Normally, we are surrounded by pink at the 95-year-old Boca Resort. His opening remarks were titled “The Boca That Is,” after the Boca that wasn’t last year. The good news is that Walt has moved out of his basement office.
Lukken recommended watching a video in the on-demand section of the Boca-V website that features two resort executives, a cooking demonstration by a resort chief and a message about mindfulness and wellness. There was even a yoga and meditation example. The video was a nice plug for the resort.
Despite the desire to be in Florida, the virtual format of Boca-V is a big success, with nearly 1,500 individuals from over 30 countries registered for the event. That is a record number of registrations.
The Boca event this year features a different theme each day, from market access to innovation to sustainability. This year’s program is shortened to be “punchier and more digestible,” Lukken said.
In his remarks, Lukken spoke of the industry being better when the pandemic is over. He said, “we must become stronger and better through self-reflection and intentional improvement to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
To help facilitate that self-reflection, the FIA conducted a survey. It showed more than 65 percent of respondents believe that trading volumes in the derivatives markets will increase in 2021. Commodities and equities are believed to be the most promising asset classes for growth, the survey showed. The U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region are perceived as having the greatest potential, Lukken said of the survey.
There is a 50-50 split over whether competition will be fiercer over the next year. There is going to be a big focus on modernization of post-trade processing.
In fact, the FIA’s board has formed a global committee to look at improving post-trade processing.
Lukken also addressed how the industry can help transition to a zero-carbon world, which is a little distressing considering the human body is 18.5 percent carbon. But we can play a significant role in this zero-carbon world goal, Lukken said.
I am wondering though whether I can get some carbon credits for my weight-loss efforts.
Lukken highlighted industry efforts already underway with ICE’s EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the world’s largest. He also mentioned the CME Group’s recently launched Global Emissions Offset futures and Deutsche Boerse’s market infrastructure for environmental products through its subsidiaries EEX (European Energy Exchange) and the Nodal Exchange.
Lukken also mentioned the FIA is a member of the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, along with several other members of our industry.
He finished his opening remarks with an announcement of a partnership between FIA and the Greenwood Project aimed at increasing diversity in the ranks of the industry.
He also mentioned the Thursday induction of new FIA Futures Hall of Fame members.
What Lukken did not mention was the firing of the basketball coach at Indiana University or that his alma mater’s basketball team is not in the NCAA March Madness tournament. Who can blame him? However, he also made no reference to Pat Kenny, the most interesting man in the world, breaking a tradition.
Welcome to the Boca-V that is.