Remarks as Prepared for SIFMA’s LIBOR Transition Briefing – Ken Bentsen, SIFMA

Remarks as prepared for the LIBOR Transition Briefing

Good morning.  Thank you for joining us here today to talk about the transition from LIBOR to more robust reference rates.  While the end of 2021 may seem far away, this is an initiative we all must be giving our full attention, today.

SIFMA, along with our fellow industry associations, is actively involved in industry discussions around the efforts to transition to alternative reference rates. As a member of the ARRC we actively participate in several subgroups with others from across the industry.  SIFMA’s own member groups are sharing our views in response to consultations. We are making efforts to ensure our members, large and small, are informed of what is going on and what needs to happen, and we are working globally with other groups to do likewise.

In fact, this morning we published a SIFMA Insights Primer research note on SOFR entitled “SOFR Primer: The Transition Away from LIBOR.” In this piece, we provide an overview of the LIBOR transition, with a focus on the proposed U.S. alternative reference rate, SOFR. Highlights include: explaining LIBOR and the need to transition to a new reference rate; the role of the ARRC in the US in the transition to SOFR; how SOFR differs from LIBOR; an analysis of the SOFR futures market; SIFMA’s LIBOR transition checklist; and a recap of global alternative reference rates.

If you haven’t seen this already, it was sent via email to all conference and webcast attendees and is also available at

The Global Financial Markets Association, comprised of SIFMA, AFME and ASIFMA, developed a series of products outlining the various parts and players in developing overnight, nearly risk-free rates and the transition process from Interbank Offered Rates impacting globally active financial institutions. These include key timelines and milestones for the U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, Euro, UK pound sterling and Swiss franc; a snapshot of the IBOR and risk-free rate variables associated with each currency; and an ‘at a glance’ tracker of each official sector working group’s activities and near-term expected actions.

SIFMA, along with our colleagues at AFME and ASIFMA, will continue to be very involved in this critical transition and implementation effort, which is what brings us all here today.

I’d like to extend my special thanks to Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Conduct Authority, and John Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, for sharing their views. I’d also like to thank Tom Wipf, Vice Chairman of Institutional Securities at Morgan Stanley and the Chair of the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, for moderating our panel discussion this morning.

And, of course, we appreciate our sponsors for supporting today’s briefing: Accenture, Deloitte, EY, Oliver Wyman, and PwC. Your involvement makes it possible for us to bring this important content to our members and other industry participants.

With that, it’s my pleasure to introduce John Williams.

John Williams is the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In that capacity, he serves as the vice chairman and a permanent member of the Federal Open Market Committee. From 2011 to mid-June 2018, Mr. Williams was the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Prior to that, he was the executive vice president and director of research at the San Francisco Fed, which he joined in 2002.

John began his career in 1994 as an economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. In addition, he served as a senior economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisers and as a lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Mr. Williams holds a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University, an M.S. degree from the London School of Economics, and an A.B. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Please join me in welcoming John Williams.

Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. is president and CEO of SIFMA, the industry trade group representing securities firms, banks and asset management companies. He is also chairman of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA), of which SIFMA is the U.S. regional member.