Ops teams passed a test during the pandemic lockdown, says Eric Aldous, managing director, head of futures at RBC Capital Markets in New York, in our latest FTF Exchange podcast.
The pandemic-induced volatility earlier this year tested remotely based securities operations teams and it looks as if they passed, says Eric Aldous, managing director, head of futures at RBC Capital Markets in New York, during an FTF Exchange podcast.
From his perspective, the global pandemic’s impact on market activity and the post-trade processes such as clearing shows how the futures commission merchants (FCMs), clearing members, a variety of clearinghouses, and the clients are so closely connected.
“Not only was I legitimately worried about our ability to get up and running but I was worried about everybody’s else’s ability to get up and running,” Aldous says. Yet initially things went smoothly.
“But the pandemic did bring a lot of volatility following that and March was probably one of the highest volume months in history. So, you look at the amount of volume coming in and it did stress the system to a certain degree,” Aldous says. “People had backlogs. There were some operational and system issues, and a lot of trade breaks that had to get cleaned up. So, it wasn’t entirely smooth but the relationship between the CCPs, clearing members — the entire industry sort of tried to work together to get it resolved as quickly as they could.”
Aldous wears several hats in the futures industry. In addition, to his post at RBC Capital Markets, he is serving as the treasurer for the board of directors of the Futures Industry Association (FIA), a global trade organization for the futures, options and centrally cleared derivatives markets. The FIA membership includes clearing firms, exchanges, clearinghouses, trading firms, commodities specialists, technology vendors, law firms, and other professional service providers.
The podcast covers more about remote operations, particularly clearing, during the lockdown, Eric’s path to NYC, the cleared derivatives industry, the FIA, and FTF’s coffee mugs.
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