Risk Assessment: Liquidity and Collateral in 2022 and beyond

FinanceFeeds Editorial Team

After a year dominated by interest rates and market volatility, Joe Midmore, COO of margin analytics firm, OpenGamma, reflects on 2022 as the year liquidity risk management mattered, and looks ahead to collateral squeeze confronting markets in 2023.

OpenGamma

Geopolitical events have caused persistent market volatility this year, as Midmore explains “the Russian invasion of Ukraine has had a significant impact on derivatives across all markets this year. However, it is the Energy market that has been affected the most because of the dependence on Russian oil and gas.” This has meant that “margins are now higher as a percentage of contract value, and with prices still being at record levels this is leading to a significant increase in margin requirements. Some firms are finding it difficult to fund their hedges and are consequently seeking assistance from unlikely sources such as private equity and central banks.” Anticipating the year ahead, “the worry is there could be a default that would disrupt the market even further in 2023.”

In the UK, “2022 saw what was effectively a black swan event for pension funds. The now infamous mini budget caused a fire sale, as some funds relying on liability driven investment strategies were forced to sell highly liquid assets (such as gilts) in a ‘dash for cash’, exposing a glaring blind spot for the industry to ponder – how to efficiently risk manage liquidity mismatches.”

Preparing for 2023, Midmore warns, “Capital efficiency and liquidity risk management are key themes that need to be on everybody’s radar when planning for 2023. Increasing interest rates and persistent market volatility will result in higher levels of margin being called at greater funding costs.
On the regulatory front, in-scope UMR phase 6 firms continue to use up their regulatory thresholds and some will find themselves needing to post initial margin for the first time fairly soon. The EU pension fund clearing exemption rules are also set to expire in June 2023 adding to the collateral liquidity challenges real money managers will need to find resolutions for.

In response to various market shaking events that have unfolded this year, we are also likely to see a big year for CCPs, with a greater emphasis on the role that clearing can play in the repo, FX and crypto derivative markets.

Ultimately, firms will need to have capital and liquidity risk management front of mind to build organisational resilience, while minimising the cost of trading.”

Joe Midmore, Chief Commercial Officer, OpenGamma
Joe Midmore, Chief Commercial Officer, OpenGamma

Joe Midmore is the Chief Commercial Officer at OpenGamma. Prior to OpenGamma, Joe spent 15 years at Credit Suisse in various Sales and Relationship Management roles across the Prime Brokerage and Prime Derivatives businesses.

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