National Conference & BDA Annual Meeting

October 24-25, 2019

Sofitel Hotel, Chicago, IL

Recap

Thank you to all attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors for helping make our 11th annual National Fixed Income Conference our strongest yet! 

A detailed summary of the conference is below. Please reach out with any questions or comments. We need your feedback to ensure we continue building a conference with the right topics and speakers -- all focused on the U.S. fixed income markets. View the full agenda.

On October 24 - 25, 2019, the BDA held its 11th Annual National Fixed Income Conference at the Sofitel Hotel in Chicago.

Key highlights from the event include:

  • Over 200 attendees - fixed income leaders, representing all aspects of the markets
  • Over 75 firms represented from coast-to-coast
  • Dozens of exhibitors and sponsors whose support helped to make this event possible
  • An opening night reception at CDA Restaurant sponsored by Hilltop Securities

Conference Sessions - October 24th

Keynote Address:
The Swamp in Perspective

Keynote Speaker: Stuart Rothenberg, Senior Editor, Inside Elections

The 11th Annual National Fixed Income Conference began with a keynote address featuring political analyst Stuart Rothenberg who gave an outlook for the upcoming 2020 presidential and congressional elections.  The discussion included an in-depth look at a variety of polls, the political environment in Washington, and predictions. The keynote address allowed attendees to walk away with a sense of direction in outcomes of the next election.

A View from the Top

Moderator: Michael Decker, Bond Dealers of America

Panelists:

  • Doug Preiser, COO, KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Jim Reynolds, Chairman and CEO, Loop Capital Markets
  • Stephanie Warren, COO of Fixed Income, Baird
  • Brad Winges, President and CEO, Hilltop Securities

This panel of middle market fixed income leaders discussed current business challenges and opportunities, the changing regulatory climate, and the future of the middle market broker-dealer.

Without A Map

Moderator: Grant Dewey, Director of Capital Markets, Build America Mutual

Panelists:

  • Guy Yandel, Managing Director and Head of Public Finance, Raymond James
  • David Medanich, Vice Chairman and Head of Public Finance, Hilltop Securities
  • Paul Chatalas, Director of Capital Markets, Governor of Illinois Office of Management and Budget

After a year of record inflows, the panel discussed the future of municipal pricing, the evolution of market structure, and continued analysis of data to help guide future decisions of investment in state and local infrastructure.

Searching for Better Benchmarks and Liquidity

Moderator: Matt Fabian, Partner, Municipal Market Advisors

Panelists:

  • Chris Brigati, Managing Director and Head of Municipal Trading, Advisors Asset Management
  • John Rolander, Managing Director and Head of Municipal Underwriting, Hilltop Securities
  • Gregg Bienstock, CEO and Co-Founder, Lumesis
  • Paul Daley, Managing Director of the Information Lab, BondWave

Market leaders discussed how dealers can take advantage of more robust market data, and what the implications are for liquidity and what the future of municipal hedging may look like.

Adaptive Market Making Techniques

Moderator: Chris White, CEO, BondCliQ

Panelists:

  • David Krein, Head of Global Research, MarketAxess
  • Amanda Meatto, Managing Director and Head of Relationship Management, Tradeweb
  • Nic Masso, Co-Head of Credit Electronic Execution, UBS

Panelists discussed a wide variety of e-trading topics, such as, all-to-all trading, access to flow, risk management, adaptations to growth, connectivity to liquidity pools and clients, and key market data sets.

The Search for Relative Value Across the Fixed Income Markets

Speaker: Tom Tzitouris, Director of Fixed Income Strategy, Strategas

Tzitouris gave an overview of inflation and inflation volatility, debt and low growth, and the cyclical, secular, and regulatory forces that impact economies over time.  This presentation provided both a snapshot of the 2008 financial crisis and other past recessions and depressions, as well as a look ahead to the 2020-2021 economy.  The full presentation is available here.

A Fixed Income Game Changer

Moderator: Michael Decker, Bond Dealers of America

Panelist: Lynn Martin, President, ICE Data Services

This conversation featured a market disrupter that has successfully worked to transform markets worldwide.  Martin discussed ways to identify, manage and utilize data to penetrate markets and add more value to clients and what has made ICE Data so successful in these efforts.

Evolution and Impact: Market Structure

Moderator: Kevin McPartland, Head of Market Structure and Technology Research, Greenwich Associates 

Panelists:

  • John Cahalane, Managing Director and Head of Tradeweb Direct, Tradeweb
  • David Parker, Head of MTS Markets International, MTS Markets
  • Michael Agema, Global Head of PTF Sales, Fenics-UST
  • Casy O'Brien, Head of Municipal Trading and Underwriting, Raymond James

This panel discussed the growth of e-trading, and how the bank to platform relationship has evolved.  Other topics included barriers to entry for regionals growing their e-trading presence, and what makes a trading venue valuable – particularly for regional dealers.

Networking Reception

At the end of day one of the National Fixed Income Conference, participants gathered for the BDA's annual reception -- sponsored by Bloomberg TOMS -- to network and visit with product and service providers, many whom are sponsors and exhibitors at the event.

Staged in the middle of the exhibit hall, this networking reception provided another opportunity for participants to meet colleagues, and expand their business contacts. BDA appreciates all who participated and sponsored one of our best conferences to date!

Conference Sessions - October 25th

Regulation of the US Fixed Income Markets

Moderator: Dan Deaton, Partner, Nixon Peabody

Panelists:

  • Robert Colby, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, FINRA
  • Jacob Lesser, Deputy General Counsel, MSRB

The group reviewed organizational priorities for the prior year and looked forward to 2020, discussing what BDA members can expect in the regulatory arena.  Included topics were the recent SEC request for comment on potential MA relief, 15c2-12 amendments and the continued MSRB retrospective review of rules.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Coming to a Desk Near You

Speaker: Camilo Ortiz, Manager of AI Communications, Bloomberg

Ortiz explained how his group at Bloomberg Communications uses natural language understanding (NLU) and workflow automation of human communications systems. Using specific search terms, imaging, and various other identifiers -- AI professionals can create optimized algorithms and data-driven solutions across the financial services industry. This technology is quickly approaching the middle market broker-dealer.

Staying Ahead of The Curve

Moderator: Chris White, CEO, BondCliQ

Panelists: 

  • Don Winton, COO, Crews & Associates
  • Dan Leland, Head of Fixed Income Capital Markets, B. Riley FBR

The final session of the conference started with an overview of the current fixed income landscape, and moved into threats to the business model, for example, asset manager fees and the commission model are both feeling pressure.  Other topics included the challenges to servicing retail vs. institutional investors, and asking if technology can solve these problems or is there something more fundamental that needs to be addressed.

In addition to the featured National Fixed Income Conference, the BDA also hosted two dealer roundtables:

Fixed Income Legal & Compliance Roundtable (view the recap here)

October 23, 2019

Public Finance Leadership Roundtable (view the recap here)

October 24, 2019

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