December 20, 2017 / 9:04 AM / a year ago

WMBA becomes EVIA alongside MiFID II repositioning

LONDON, Dec 20 (IFR) - The Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association (WMBA) has changed its name to the European Venues and Intermediaries Association (EVIA), reflecting the changing role of its members under MiFID II.

The sweeping reforms, which are set to be implemented on January 3, will see the association’s members evolve their pure intermediary role to become operators of regulated venues such as multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) and organised trading facilities (OTFs).

“MiFID II has been described by many as Europe’s big bang of market structure reforms,” said Alex McDonald, CEO of EVIA. “The new name of the association reflects the significant changes to the activities of our members brought about by MiFID II.”

The new rules mandate all liquid instruments, including bonds and derivatives, to be traded at registered venues, where they will be subject to pre and post-trade transparency requirements.

The reference to intermediaries in the new name reflects that members will continue to perform an intermediation role as agents in on-venue and off-venue markets.

In its new guise, the association aims to promote fair and effective markets across its membership and enhance the value and competitiveness of inter-dealer broking in the new MiFID II regime. Fundamental to its core objectives is the ongoing work towards consolidated data and product identifiers, for which the association will act as a common voice, ensuring clear communication with central banks, governments, policymakers, and regulators.

“Building upon our 50 years of history, the association will continue to work with members, other trade associations and policymakers to ensure the fair and efficient functioning of organised markets,” said David Clark, chairman of EVIA.

Members have been supportive of the change as they reposition their own activities in accordance with the new rules, with many setting up new venues to accommodate client needs.

Steve Smith, director of IT and operations at Kyte Broking, welcomed the rebranding. “It reflects the new role of EVIA and is consistent with the evolution of Kyte Broking,” he said in a statement. “Kyte has developed from being focused on the exchange-traded markets, into off-exchange markets, and now into the operation of an OTF.”

Jeffrey Hogan, senior managing director at BGC Group, which has applied to operate both OTFs and MTFs under the new regime, noted that the name change was synonymous with fundamental shifts in market structure.

“Our group accordingly looks forward to welcoming additional members while continuing to engage with regulators and an increasingly wide spectrum of customers,” he said in a statement. (Reporting by Helen Bartholomew)

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