Written by Shuvro Mainuddin, current student MIF 2014.

 The latest IE Titans of Finance Conference – the first in 2014 – took place at María de Molina, 2, on February 25th, offering IE students great opportunities to network with influential finance professionals from all over the world.

Speaking as the Chief Guest of the latest conference was Mr. Tajinder Singh, Deputy Secretary General, International Organization of Securities Commissions (OICU–IOSCO). As the Deputy Secretary General, his duties include providing strategic advice; implementing aspects of IOSCO’s Strategic Direction; managing relations with IOSCO’s membership and being responsible for the administrative functioning of the Secretariat.

IOSCO, in Mr. Singh’s words, is the global standard setting body for securities markets regulation, maintaining supervisory and enforcement powers of regulators, implementing monitoring through peer review, and establishing sound financial standards overall. The institute consists of 120 regulators worldwide as members, such as US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in UK, European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in EU. Interestingly, the body also includes Asian regulators from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan as well – together these members control 95% of the world’s entire capital markets – market capitalization of over $127 trillion!

In addition, Mr. Singh also mentioned how IOSCO helps the emerging markets regulators in capacity building – nurturing these nascent markets with forward looking guidances so they can manage new, emerging risks. Its three main pillars are: 1) Investor protection 2) Fair, efficient, transparent capital markets and 3) Reduction of systemic risk. Guided by these pillars, IOSCO comes up with Principles & recommendation that members must follow

For me, the highlight of the conference was when Mr. Singh described the probable causes of financial crisis and its implications in regulating the capital markets. Factors such as unproductive loan generation, poor performance of Credit Rating agencies, inadequate risk management, and opaque OTC derivatives market – were the main drivers behind 2007/08 crisis according to Mr. Singh.

From IOSCO’s perspective, potential solutions to avert such crisis in future was the following: increased capital requirements, liquidity requirement, improved mortgage underwriting standards and post crisis de-leveraging worldwide. This highly informative session ended with interactive Q&A session with the audience.