Optimism pervades the air
October 11, 2016

An air of optimism characterized this year's annual Sibos gathering, in Geneva, according to Mathieu Maurier, Global Head of Sales and Relationship Management at Societe Generale Securities Services, speaking after a week or so of considered reflection on the event.

"This is our 25th straight year with representation at Sibos and the atmosphere was noticeably more positive than at some I've known," he says. "Not totally bullish, but optimistic."

Transforming the Landscape was the formal theme of the conference and it certainly lived up to its name through the emphasis on co-operation between market infrastructures, market participants and even regulators.

If even half of the promise is transposed into reality, everyone will benefit from enhanced efficiency and the everyday practical uses to which, say, Big Data might be put, he suggests, tacking on a mild caveat in his musings. "We all need to be more agile in handling Big Data, especially in transforming it into Smart Data," he observes.

Distributed ledger technology demonstrated a tendency to dominate proceedings over the week of the conference. "Not a single meeting that I attended failed to address the subject of DLT," says Mathieu Maurier. It might turn out to be massively overhyped, as some market participants have openly commented, but it sits at the core of current technology discussion, and a growing number of institutions have said they are carrying out proof of concept exercises.

"We are all digging and digging away at it, like hard-working coal miners," he says, adding drily that the biggest challenge in this field is identifying the question to which DLT and Blockchain have been declared the answer.

Cyber security proved to be another dominant feature on the agenda of many at Sibos 2016. "Banks and other financial institutions need to prepare themselves better to cope with cyber crime," he notes. Convergence between man and machine continues to fascinate, as outlined in Rise of the Robots, a short comment paper published here earlier this year, in the wake of the June Fund Forum conference.

Against this backdrop and seemingly endless chatter about disruption in financial services, one other important question remains to be answered. In short, do we truly find ourselves standing on the eve of a cycle of all-out disruption in which new financial technology companies drive out long-established traditional players? Or are we more prosaically at the beginning of a new technology cycle, emulating the impact of those that have been with us since the 1980s? Either way, the landscape will continue to be transformed...





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An air of optimism characterized this year's annual Sibos gathering, in Geneva, according to Mathieu Maurier, Global Head of Sales and Relationship Management at Societe Generale Securities Services, speaking after a week or so of considered reflection on the event.

"This is our 25th straight year with representation at Sibos and the atmosphere was noticeably more positive than at some I've known," he says. "Not totally bullish, but optimistic."

Transforming the Landscape was the formal theme of the conference and it certainly lived up to its name through the emphasis on co-operation between market infrastructures, market participants and even regulators.

If even half of the promise is transposed into reality, everyone will benefit from enhanced efficiency and the everyday practical uses to which, say, Big Data might be put, he suggests, tacking on a mild caveat in his musings. "We all need to be more agile in handling Big Data, especially in transforming it into Smart Data," he observes.

Distributed ledger technology demonstrated a tendency to dominate proceedings over the week of the conference. "Not a single meeting that I attended failed to address the subject of DLT," says Mathieu Maurier. It might turn out to be massively overhyped, as some market participants have openly commented, but it sits at the core of current technology discussion, and a growing number of institutions have said they are carrying out proof of concept exercises.

"We are all digging and digging away at it, like hard-working coal miners," he says, adding drily that the biggest challenge in this field is identifying the question to which DLT and Blockchain have been declared the answer.

Cyber security proved to be another dominant feature on the agenda of many at Sibos 2016. "Banks and other financial institutions need to prepare themselves better to cope with cyber crime," he notes. Convergence between man and machine continues to fascinate, as outlined in Rise of the Robots, a short comment paper published here earlier this year, in the wake of the June Fund Forum conference.

Against this backdrop and seemingly endless chatter about disruption in financial services, one other important question remains to be answered. In short, do we truly find ourselves standing on the eve of a cycle of all-out disruption in which new financial technology companies drive out long-established traditional players? Or are we more prosaically at the beginning of a new technology cycle, emulating the impact of those that have been with us since the 1980s? Either way, the landscape will continue to be transformed...