FIA’s Boca Conference Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

Futures Industry Association FIA - Boca ConferenceThe coronavirus has caused the cancellation of a prominent futures trading conference. The Futures Industry Association (FIA) Boca Conference occurs every year in March. Boca 2020 was to be the 45th installment, according to FIA’s website. The FIA just announced this year’s will be cancelled due to coronavirus.

Here is part of their statement.

“It is with great disappointment that FIA has decided to cancel its 45th Annual Boca International Futures Industry Conference on March 10-12 due to concerns for the health and wellbeing of our conference attendees surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.  ​After discussions with FIA’s board of directors this morning, as well as with key stakeholders in the industry, it has become clear that cancellation is the right thing to do to protect the health of our members and participants.

“The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control continue to escalate the threat levels surrounding the Coronavirus, with experts predicting that cases will grow materially in the U.S. leading up to next week’s meeting.  In addition, many of FIA’s members have implemented non-essential travel restrictions that make it difficult for panelists, speakers and participants to attend the conference, including key stakeholders within investment banks, asset management firms, exchanges, clearinghouses and regulators.  

“We did not make this decision lightly. For four decades, Boca has served as the place where our industry comes together to share ideas, broker deals, foster relationships and reacquaint with friends.  We cannot fully express our disappointment.”

The coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019, according to the website for the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to live updates from the website, Worldometers, there are over 94,000 reported cases and over 3,200 reported deaths from coronavirus, globally.

The US, it was announced, recently had its ninth death.

Though that represents a fraction of the world’s population, and the symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu, the potency of the virus has been touted.

One Harvard professor claims 70% of the global population will be affected.

Above the human toll, the virus has wreaked havoc on supply chains, many of which rely in part on China, which has been most affected.

It has caused wild swings in markets with the DJIA closing from February 27-March 4, 2020 at:-$1,190.95, -$357.28, +1,293.96, -$785.91, and +528.49.

The 2019 Boca Conference included a keynote address by then Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Christopher Giancarlo.

Sonny Perdue, the US Secretary for the US Department of Agriculture, also spoke.

Boca 2020, which was supposed to run from Tuesday March 10- Thursday March 12, had a jam packed line-up scheduled.

One breakout session was entitled, “InformationXchange: Eurex.”

The session was described as, “The world is on its way to a new paradigm. We see fundamental changes in many areas without knowing how the new status quo will look like. It’s times like these that allow us to explore new opportunities – together with our clients and regulators. Experts from Eurex will provide you with an overview of interesting updates and for an informative and interactive discussion with you.”

Current CFTC Chair, Heath Tarbert, was also scheduled to give his keynote address starting at 9:15 AM Eastern Time on March 11.

Another session was entitled, “The Role of Derivatives in the Climate Risk Debate”. It featured Emma Davey, the Chief Commercial Officer of FIA, hosting five speakers:

1)      Rostin Behnam, a Commissioner on the CFTC

2)      Trabue Bland, the President of ICE Futures U.S.

3)      Neil Eckert, the Founder & Chairman of IncubEx 

4)      Bob Litterman, the Founding Partner and the Risk Committee Chairman of Kepos Capital

5)      Richard Sandor, the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at the American Financial Exchange