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New Presidential Era Opens for ACI

ACI – The Financial Markets Association duly elected its new president at its council meeting in Montreal. Manfred Wiebogen, an Austrian currently employed by Volksbank Austria was elected for a term of 3 years. He is currently head of CEE Treasuries (running operations in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Serbia, Romania, Malta) and also in charge of sales structured products into the CEE region.

His track record in ACI is impressive – starting as Vice-Secretary/Secretary ACI Austria, being a founding member and member of the German Language Board, member of the organising committee of the 4th European Congress Vienna 1997, member of ACI Euribor founding group, Marking Centre ACI Diploma in the late 90’s, cooperation in the reformatting of the ACI Education programme, regional executive for Germany, Switzerland and Austria, chairman of the International ACI Dealer Seminar in Davos 2002, treasurer of ACI on an interim basis and currently member of ACI’s Committee for Professionalism.

Godfried De Vidts, the outgoing president of ACI says: “Every three years the members of ACI elect a new president. This opens new possibilities for our association as it provides an opportunity for the change necessary to stay abreast of the events in the world’s currency markets. During the many years as member of ACI I had the opportunity to get to know Manfred very well and can assure all members that he is the right person for the job and to continue the reforms I have instigated during my presidency.”

“To meet future challenges the preceding presidency has moved ACI into the new requirements of today,” adds Wiebogen. “The restructuring of the association took place and gives room for further modernisation. We are facing a “speed of change” in the financial markets which makes it inevitable for ACI to “revalue” its global position, e.g. daily FX volume skyrocket,  turnover in complex compound structures adds enormous liquidity to the markets but also new market participants are entering the global financial world. Retrospectively, I would like to thank Godfried for his tireless engagement and the visionary structuring of the association.”

In a letter to ACI Councillors, Wiebogen laid out his thoughts.

It is my firm believe that ACI is one of the leading, if not the leading association in the global financial markets. As The Financial Markets Association, ACI supports the international markets through

  • refining education
  • stringent and transparent market practices
  • technical support and advice
  • networking events

as well as many other measures and actions.

Our fellow members work together on a basis of open relationship and traditional trust, they – in fact we – are “united in trust”. The various methods of daily communication may differ, the spirit remains unchanged. It is this traditional spirit that makes the financial markets operate as efficiently as they presently do, our contributions are cornerstones to solidity and continuity.”

We live in a world of fundamental changes, in a world of uncertainty and tensions of all kinds. Until not too long ago the world’s focus spotlighted developments in Central Europe, the US and a few major countries in Asia.

Today we look at many other regions and countries, the economic upsurge in CEE and SEE helped and still helps boosting the European economy whilst numerous “new tigers” showed their strength and power. China, India, Russia and major countries of the Near and Middle East, not to forget smaller but extremely dynamic economies in the Baltics, all of these and many more have changed the picture of this world again.

The more the world becomes something like an economically interlinked globe of pleasant surprises, the more our industry benefits from the “volume explosion” in world trade and financial transactions.

Foreign currency reserves skyrocket, FX turnover reaches $3 trillion per day, turnover in complex compound structures such as certificates of the third generation add enormous liquidity to the markets – business is great!

The post World War II generation has prepared grounds by fighting to abolish outdated capital transfer restrictions, by building this free and obviously borderless market place. It is up to us and the future generations of dealers to continue trading professionally and to make sure we do not run inadequate risks.

What do I consider to be challenges, where do Isee new perspectives for ACI?


Who says we will not see currency unions in Asia, in the Arabic regions, maybe even in areas of the world we do not even dream of? Many of us thought the FX market would not survive the loss of currencies such as the Deutsche mark, the French franc, the Italian lira and many others. FX turnover statistics clearly show that the euro has added “flavour”, we now clearly see more benefits than disadvantages.

The “speed of change” in the financial markets makes it inevitable for ACI to “revalue” its global position. Whilst we must preserve our traditional values and virtues, we must – on the other hand – respond to changes in a dynamic way.

The so-called “intervals of changes” turn out to become shorter and shorter, thus our decisions, our reactions must be “spot decisions” rather than “long term forward compromises”.

We already have a lot of “goodies” to offer to the markets, to our markets such as our well-established Dealing Certificate, the ACI Diploma, the Model Code, and ACI  EURIBOR, achievements by a few, achievements for so many. Emphasising one’s strength in today’s ultra-competitive environment is an absolute must. ACI has a lot to offer, let us market our talents, we’ve got nothing to hide.

The committees heading the special task forces, may it be the BOE or the CFP or any other present or future committee are groups of dedicated volunteers! This is OK as long as the banks of our dedicated friends work for support their, support these efforts, as long as others pick up related costs etc. I consider it a must to have a fall-back plan, where would we be should banks withdraw their support?

We also need to win hearts again. In some countries the number of ACI-members has dropped drastically, there are banks where FX and MM dealers do not even know what ACI stands for. This requires immediate action and this unhealthy trend needs to be reversed.

Requirements of market participants differ from country to country, from region to region. We need to bring interests together, we need to become more flexible in terms of allocation of support.

New markets open daily, new requirements pop up. There is much to do for ACI, there are many opportunities to win new members, to find new volunteers helping us to be what we always stood for


“An association of dealers for dealers”.


What we need to do right away is to re-consider what we need most, i.e. market recognition, especially the recognition by the dealing community itself as well as the recognition and acceptance by national and supranational legal bodies such as central banks, supervisory authorities etc.

This means we have two major missions, a professional and a diplomatic one! It needs to be understood however that one can not be diplomatic without enjoying essential professional standards. There is a lot to do, let us jointly go for it! It is – I said that before – my firm believe that the repositioning of ACI on the very top of the list requires one major “working element” and that is dedication. n

Profit & Loss

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