Jim Plante, the CEO of IMX, in a recent interview with John Lothian News, discussed the next steps for the healthcare-focused futures exchange after receiving approval from the CFTC. IMX’s target launch is in the second quarter of 2024, and Plante said the next challenge is the ongoing process of onboarding futures commission merchants to the exchange. IMX is also working on finalizing its initial product offerings, which will undergo regulatory approval. IMX plans to make significant announcements regarding index licensing partnerships related to healthcare futures contracts. Plante emphasized that the healthcare industry, which constitutes nearly 20% of the economy, involves natural market players on both sides, including healthcare service providers, pharmaceutical companies, and health insurance providers, necessary components for a healthy futures market.
Plante spoke about the correlation of the healthcare market to other parts of the market and mentioned that while changes in supply and demand may not directly affect costs, demand for procedures can vary. For instance, during the early days of COVID-19, patients avoided hospitals for procedures, resulting in decreased revenue for healthcare service providers. IMX aims to provide futures and derivatives tools for the healthcare sector, which has historically been considered a cost. Plante believes this will transform healthcare into an asset and improve transparency.
Plante expects broad interest from financial institutions to invest in investment pools and funds in healthcare futures, as they would with any other asset class, especially given the transformative nature of introducing futures and derivatives to the healthcare sector. IMX seeks to engage with proprietary trading groups and any firms specializing in healthcare trading. Plante noted that this is a relatively new asset class that was previously inaccessible, making it an exciting opportunity.
Reflecting on the CFTC approval process, Plante acknowledged its thoroughness, which required extensive documentation and interactions. IMX had to assemble a team capable of meeting the regulatory requirements, demonstrate financial resources, and provide operating budgets and regulatory capital in order to gain CFTC approval.
Plante said IMX has a group of investors from the industry and venture investors who supported the exchange’s endeavors. He stated that IMX is currently in a favorable financial condition.
Regarding hiring plans, IMX aims to expand its commercial and products teams to meet the demands of its growing business. He said he welcomed resumes from people interested in joining IMX.
Plante summed it up by emphasizing the transformative potential of futures and derivatives in healthcare, emphasizing that healthcare should be viewed as an asset rather than just a cost, and IMX aims to facilitate this transformation with the introduction of financial tools.