Financial Technologies Forum Finds Firms Behind in UMR Readiness

Live audience polling at CMD Ops 2019 reveals only 13% of financial institutions are fully prepared for UMR

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / December 16, 2019 / Financial Technologies Forum (FTF) announced today live audience polling results from its recent Collateral, Margining and Derivatives – CMD Ops 2019 – event held in New York last month. With requirements for Uncleared Margin Rules (UMR) now a reality for many firms, FTF dedicated most of its panel discussions and presentations to the pending rules for Phase 5 and Phase 6 implementation. New for 2019, FTF also created an interactive environment for the audience to participate by introducing live audience polling.

According to event participants, consisting of mostly buy-side firms, only 13% are fully prepared for UMR, while a majority of participants, 67%, indicated they were somewhat prepared and another 13% did not know the preparedness status for their institution. During the course of the event, UMR subject matter experts from buy-side firms, custodians and the vendor community, consistently stressed the same message with the audience, “Get prepared now, don’t delay, and stick to the path or run the risk of getting left behind.”

Despite the market challenges around UMR for may financial institutions, the polling results also point to an opportunity for collateral managers and the vendor community. When asked “How will your firm tackle the regulation around internal flows?”, 66% of event participants said they would use a collateral manager or vendor; 17% indicated they would manage through proprietary resources.

In terms of areas to focus on for UMR readiness, documentation scored the highest with 89% of event participants indicating this as top priority at their company. Processes and data followed next with 59% and 48% of the votes, respectively. Connectivity trailed a distant last with 19% flagging this as a key focus for their firm.

Commenting on the results, Audrey Blater, senior analyst at Aite Group and CMD Ops 2019 Event Chair, said “The documentation stats make perfect sense because if firms are not setting up agreements then they have yet to take one of the first steps toward UMR readiness. Connectivity is the stat to watch. 19% is surprising given half the firms in attendance indicated they are in Phase 5 and will need to be compliant with the rules in less than one year. This implies that participants have started their process in terms of paperwork but are behind when it comes to connecting to systems. This shows that many firms still have a lot of work to do in this area – coordinating with IT and back-office teams, testing and more. Also, some companies may still be contemplating how to reallocate staff and cost to the process.”

CMD Ops is one of five industry conferences FTF hosts in the U.S. and U.K. on an annual basis. The event gathers industry leaders and subject matter experts from buy-side firms, custodians, market infrastructures and select vendors. FTF also runs DerivOps North America, a sister event to CMD Ops, taking place in Chicago this coming May 13-14. DerivOps North America 2020 will continue the initial margin and UMR discussions, covering all areas from compliance to best practices and roles for innovation and technology. Additional conferences for 2020 include Performance Measurement Americas (PMA), Performance Management Europe (PME) and SecOps North America.

About Financial Technologies Forum

Founded in 2006, Financial Technologies Forum (FTF) is a women-owned media company focused on delivering news, other useful content, premier conferences, interactive webinars, and a variety of special events for the professionals that make capital markets work. FTF focuses on middle- and back-office operations, IT innovation and advances in compliance, regulation, market structure and key aspects of global securities processing. Our global client base consists of C-suite executives and senior level securities professionals from leading financial services institutions, upstart firms, service providers and financial technology companies. Our online news service, FTF News and magazine FTF Focus offer original editorial content, news updates, in-depth analysis and industry research on all things related to securities operations, fintech, compliance, regulatory matters and trends affecting middle and back-office operations. FTF also assists leading financial technology and service providers with various marketing and lead generation services. For more information, visit

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SOURCE: Financial Technologies Forum

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