AFME Appoints Goldman Sachs Exec Thalia Chryssikou as Chairman

The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) has appointed Goldman Sachs executive Thalia Chryssikou as Chair of the Board.

She will lead the bord as Michael Cole-Fontayn steps down from his role. He has been a member of the AFME Board since 2011 and served as Chair between September 2015 and June 2021.

Thalia Chryssikou is the Head of Global Sales Strats & Structuring at Goldman Sachs. She is skilled in Securities, Capital Markets, Financial Modeling, Corporate Finance, and Hedge Funds.

Holding a PhD focused in Operations Research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chryssikou has been with Goldman Sachs since 1998. Her whole career: 23 years.

Thalia Chryssikou said: “I am delighted and honoured to be taking up the role of Chair at AFME at such a pivotal time. The enormous potential for transformation of the European economy through digitalisation and decarbonisation will require unprecedented levels of investment and finance.

“AFME has a key role to play in helping to shape European financial regulation to promote deep and integrated capital markets to serve the needs of companies and investors in this task. I look forward to acting on behalf of all our members to enable our financial markets to rise to this challenge.”

Adam Farkas, AFME Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to welcome Thalia as AFME’s new Chair. Thalia brings a wealth of knowledge from her over 20-year career in financial services and technology at Goldman Sachs that equips her to lead the AFME Board as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. She is also a passionate advocate of supporting female talent which is a priority for AFME and the financial services industry as a whole.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Michael for his service and dedication to AFME. Michael is a strong supporter of Europe’s capital markets, having passionately promoted the “E” in AFME during his decade on the AFME Board. Under Michael’s Chairmanship, AFME has established a reputation as an expert and credible voice for Europe’s wholesale financial markets across a broad range of regulatory and capital markets issues. He has been a very engaged and committed Chair and we wish him well in his next endeavour as an independent Director on the Board of JPMorgan Securities PLC.”

Michael Cole-Fontayn, who is stepping down as Chairman of the Board, said: “It has been a true pleasure and honour to serve the AFME Board over the last six years. During this time, Europe’s capital markets have faced unprecedented challenges from Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, and I am very proud of the work AFME has done in informing the policy debate around the future of Europe’s capital markets, as well as working with regulators and the industry in support of the growth agenda.”

Last week, AFME released its Q1 2021 securitization data report, with the main findings below:

In Q1 2021, EUR 48.9bn of securitised product was issued in Europe, a decrease of 25.9% from Q4 2020 and an increase of 18.7% from Q1 2020. Of the EUR 48.9bn issued, EUR 30.0bn was placed, representing 61.3% of issuance, compared to the 39.4% of issuance in Q4 2020 and 58.0% of issuance in Q1 2020.

Outstanding volumes (ex-CLOs) decreased slightly to EUR 987.8bn outstanding at the end of Q1 2021, a decrease of 0.5% QoQ and a decrease of 0.3% YoY.

Credit Quality: In Europe, upgrades outpaced downgrades in Q1 2021, as the proportion of upgrades as a percentage of ratings actions recovered substantially to 76% of total rating actions following a fall during 2020 due to the economic effects of the pandemic.

STS issuance: In Q1 2021, EUR 11.3 bn of total (placed and retained) securitised product was notified as Simple Transparent and Standardised (STS) by ESMA, representing 23.1% of total issued volume in Q1 2021 (EUR 48.9bn). Out of the EUR 11.3bn in STS issuance, EUR 6.9bn was placed, representing 23.0% of total placed issuance in Q1 2021 (EUR 30.0bn)

STS issuance: Over the last three years, placed non-STS issuance has consistently made up more than double the amount of placed STS issuance in the EU+UK.