Not the Typical Industry Gathering




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Not the Typical Industry Gathering

The annual Salzburg Global Finance in a Changing World Forum is changing how financiers meet

Since 2011, Salzburg Global Seminar has convened an annual, high-level forum focused on critical challenges of financial regulation following the global financial crisis. The annual Forum on Finance in a Changing World facilitates critical analysis of the changing regulatory environment, comparison of practical experience, understanding of technology-driven transformations, and involves senior bankers, regulators, and policymakers from the US, Asia and Europe, as well as international financial services firms, consultancies, auditors, law firms and other professional service providers – but that doesn’t make it a typical industry gathering.

For many in the finance and banking sector, industry meetings rarely enable in-depth, informal, and off-the-record opportunities for discussions on the key challenges facing the global financial markets. The Salzburg Global Forum for Finance in a Changing World is different.

“Never have I been to a [session] like this where people don’t leave the room every five minutes for side-meetings or conference calls. That this did not happen [here] marks the excellence of the [session],” said one participant after 2014’s program The Future of Banking: Is There a Sustainable Business Model for Banks? 

How is it that Salzburg Global is able to attract high level figures such as Andreas Dombret, a Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Bundesbank; Douglas Flint, the Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings; Wim Mijs, the Chief Executive of the European Banking Federation; and Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve? And not only keep them engaged while in Salzburg, but persuade them to return to Salzburg Global Seminar year after year?

The reason is four-fold. First, Schloss Leopoldskron provides a secluded and informal meeting place, away from the hectic global banking centers, where participants bring a broad array of perspectives and expertise and are able to look beyond their immediate technical and external pressures.

Second, like all Salzburg Global programs, the session is all held under the Chatham House Rule, meaning that everyone present can speak candidly. Although the ideas and proposals may be shared beyond the gates of Schloss Leopoldskron, ideas are not attributed, enabling participants to speak as individuals rather than on behalf of their institutions. This is true even when there are journalists on-site [see BELOW].

Third, Salzburg Global Seminar program staff work closely with an advisory council [see BELOW] to ensure that the annual topics, speakers, and participants are addressing the most critical issues facing global financial services. The annual Forum, now in its fifth year, facilitates strategic analysis and critical thinking about changing regulatory and economic environments, comparative practice, technology-driven transformations, and emerging ethical questions. Since its launch in 2011 with the session New Rules for Global Finance: Which kinds of regulation are useful and which are counterproductive?, the Forum has tackled global differences in financial regulation (2012: Financial Regulation: Bridging Global Differences, shadow banking (2013: Out of the Shadows: Regulation for the Non-Banking Financial Sector, sustainable business models for banks (2014: The Future of Banking: Is There a Sustainable Business Model for Banks?, and in 2015, the 50 expert participants will examine financial intermediation in The Future of Financial Intermediation: Banking, Securities Markets, or Something New?

The intensive two-day Forum includes panel-led discussions, in-depth working groups, and an Oxford-style evening debate. Speakers come from leading institutions, and include both high-level decision makers and top young professionals from diverse backgrounds.

As one Fellow put it: “The level of the participants was incredible. I believe that no other place in the world can host such an array of high-ranking bankers, regulators, thinkers, and policymakers.”

Fourth, the Salzburg Forum on Finance in a Changing World is not a typical industry gathering. Salzburg Global Seminar reaches beyond “the usual suspects” and encourages a broad array of financial and programmatic participation. Numerous partners, sponsors, and co-sponsors support the program, without any single institution exerting influence on the overall program. Partners and sponsors have included international banks like HSBC and Deutsche Bank; consultancy firms such as Ernst & Young and Oliver Wyman; financial services firms Dynex Capital Inc. and The Cynosure Group; and law firms including Cleary Gottlieb and Davis Polk, as well as central banks and educational institutions. This sponsorship model, spearheaded by Salzburg Global Vice President of Business Affairs Benjamin Glahn, has resulted in the Forum’s ability to attract top international financial actors as well as offer scholarships to rising stars from across the world.

“As the Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World enters its fifth year, the Forum has become a unique annual program for senior level bankers, regulators, and others in the financial services sector to engage with each other on forward looking issues and challenges,” says Salzburg Global Program Director Tatsiana Lintouskaya. “Building on its diverse base of sponsors and supporters, and with the guidance of its Advisory Committee, the Forum has become a strong and sustainable platform for tackling the toughest challenges to the integrity of global financial systems.”



Live from Schloss Leopoldskron

Like all Salzburg Global programs, sessions within the Finance in a Changing World series are all held under the Chatham House Rule, meaning ideas and proposals can only be shared outside of the session without attribution. But such a high-level meeting inevitably attracts attention from the press. To ensure that both the participants are able to speak candidly and the media are able to report from the session, Salzburg Global invited Bloomberg TV to broadcast live and exclusively from the terrace of Schloss Leopoldskron – outside of the off-the-record discussions going on in Parker Hall.

Bloomberg TV’s Jonathan Ferro interviewed Salzburg Global Fellows Wim Mijs, the newly appointed head of the European Banking Federation, HSBC Chair Douglas Flint, Deutsche Bundesbank’s Andreas Dombret, and former Bank of England Deputy Governor Paul Tucker, with Ferro appearing live throughout the second day of the session for the broadcaster’s shows On the Move and The Pulse.

Mijs spoke about achieving “legal certainty” over the size of fines handed down to lenders for breaking rules; Flint answered questions about the increase in compliance costs at the bank over the last four years; Dombret told Ferro about European Central Bank’s stress tests and risks to financial stability in the Euro area; and Tucker, speaking with Bloomberg’s Boris Groendahl, also discussed the future of London as a financial center and the impact of Bank of England policy on the UK mortgage market.


Advisory Council

Douglas Flint (Chair), Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings

Andreas Dombret, Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Bundesbank

Ed Greene, Senior Counsel, Cleary Gottlieb

Patrick Kenadjian, Senior Counsel, Davis Polk

Sandra O’Connor, Chief Regulatory Affairs Officer, JPMorgan Chase

Randal Quarles, Managing Director, The Cynosure Group

David Wright, Secretary-General, International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)

Download the Salzburg Global Chronicle 2015 in full (PDF)

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