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Stephen O’Connor New Chairman of ISDA

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The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) announced that its board of directors will elect Stephen O’Connor, managing director, Morgan Stanley, as the association’s new chairman. O’Connor will be elected with immediate effect at the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting on 14 April at ISDA’s 26th annual general meeting in Prague.

O’Connor succeeds Eraj Shirvani, managing director, head of fixed income for EMEA Region, Credit Suisse, who has served as ISDA’s chairman since April 2008. During Shirvani’s three year tenure as chairman, ISDA and the over the counter (OTC) derivatives industry undertook a number of initiatives to build safe, efficient markets. ISDA’s Big Bang and Small Bang Protocols enabled greater process and product standardisation, the volume of cleared swaps increased significantly, bilateral risk management improved and trade repositories were established for credit default, interest rate and equity swaps. Shirvani will continue to serve on the association’s board of directors.

“On behalf of ISDA’s board, our member firms and our staff, I would like to thank Eraj for his leadership during a challenging period for the OTC derivatives markets,” said Conrad Voldstad, chief executive officer, ISDA. “He has played an important role in setting ISDA’s strategy and developing our key initiatives over the years and we look forward to his continued contributions to the association.”

“Steve O’Connor has been very active at ISDA as a board member and as chairman of the ISDA Industry Governance Committee,” said Voldstad. “He is ideally suited to lead the association and our industry forward as we work together to address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

Shirvani said: “It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to serve as ISDA’s chair. With the support of the board and our member firms, we were able to make significant progress in key areas, such as reducing counterparty risk and increasing transparency. With Steve O’Connor as the new ISDA chair, Connie Voldstad as CEO and Bob Pickel as executive vice chairman, I know that ISDA will remain a strong, active representative for the OTC derivatives markets.”

O’Connor remarked: “Eraj became chairman at the same time that I joined the ISDA board. I have seen first hand his effective leadership of ISDA and on behalf of the board I thank him for his significant contributions as chairman. I have also had the opportunity to work with many parts of the ISDA organisation during this time and I look forward to working on behalf of all of our membership constituencies towards the association’s fundamental mission: safe, efficient OTC derivatives markets.”

O’Connor has been a member of the ISDA board since 2008. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1988 and is global head of OTC Client Clearing at Morgan Stanley.

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