July 25, 2005 – FIX Protocol Ltd. (FPL) is pleased to announce the elevation of the Foreign Exchange Working Group (FXWG) to Global Foreign Exchange Committee (GFXC) status. As a part of FPL's expansion and restructuring efforts three years ago, both the Derivatives and Fixed Income Working Groups were promoted by FPL to global product committees. It has been decided that the Foreign Exchange Working Group should now mature in a similar manner.
The FIX F/X Working Group was created in December of 2003 in response to interest and questions expressed by various firms who were either implementing or considering implementing the FIX Protocol to support F/X trading. The creation of this group provided a framework and forum for firms within the industry to work together. Four distinct subgroups – Non Deliverable Forwards, Swaps, Streaming Prices and General Order Flow – were established to assist in the first phase which was the creation of "plain English" documentation to describe business flows and requirements.
The new Global Foreign Exchange Committee will support the recently announced collaborative effort among FIX Protocol Ltd. (FPL), the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) and TWIST Process Innovations Ltd., focusing on standardizing Foreign Exchange (F/X) trading requirements in an industry-led, open, and vendor neutral manner. In this new joint effort, FPL, ISDA and TWIST will work together and provide resources to undertake a product coverage and business process gap analysis with regard to the F/X coverage in their respective standards – FIX, FpML and TWIST. This gap analysis will serve as the basis for future developments in the F/X area.
With the objective to merge the FX working group of TWIST with the Global Foreign Exchange Committee of FPL and further strengthen the collaboration between these organisations, TWIST Process Innovations Ltd. has obtained the right to appoint one of the two co-chairs of the Global Foreign Exchange Committee. TWIST has nominated its chair of the TWIST Working Group for Wholesale Financial Markets standards, Bill Specht from Currenex, to co-chair FPL’s Global Foreign Exchange Committee. Bill was the primary author of the TWIST specification covering F/X transactions. In addition, FPL held an election to determine the FPL representative who will be the co-chair of the new GFXC. As a result, Steve Donovan of Massachusetts Financial Services and former co-chair of the FPL Foreign Exchange Working Group has been elected. Steve and Bill will serve as co-chairs of the Global Foreign Exchange Committee.
Steve Donovan serves as Chief Information Officer for MFS Investments. Steve began his career with MFS in 1988 as a manager in the transfer agency side of the business. He has since held management roles in the treasury and investment operations areas, became lead developer and architect in charge of MFS' fixed income trading system, and until recently served as Director of Global Investment Technology. Steve earned his BA at Northeastern University and participates in the FPL Global Fixed Income Committee as well as the FPL Americas Regional Committee. He has served as co-chair of the FPL Foreign Exchange Working Group since its inception. Having supported the trading and settlements of currency, Steve is intimately familiar with the mechanics and nuances of the entire currency trade life cycle. "Being that I work for one of the few buy side firms that currently trades foreign exchange via the FIX protocol, I am firmly committed to accelerating adoption of FIX by the foreign exchange community at large," stated Mr. Donovan.
Bill Specht has been the Financial Software Architect at Currenex Inc. since the company’s founding in 2000. After receiving a PhD in mathematics from University of Chicago he was a professor of Mathematics Roosevelt University in Chicago before moving on to working with financial systems. He developed a range of financial systems and was involved in process engineering activities for Citibank, Barclays Global Investors, Misys and Currenex. An active participant in many of the current process standards for FX processing, he is the designer of the TWIST FX schema, is co-chair of the Wholesale Trade Working Group in TWIST and member of the F/X working groups of FpML and FPL since their inception. "Working for a provider of F/X trading services, I have seen the business value of process-driven and open standards that allow a variety of market participants to connect to one another and automate their processes. The opportunity to fill the position of co-chair of the Global Foreign Exchange Committee of FPL on behalf of TWIST provides a major prospect to drive for harmonized and comprehensive standards throughout the F/X trade life cycle," stated Mr. Specht.
Steve and Bill will serve on FPL’s Global Steering Committee representing the Foreign Exchange community. Please visit the Global Foreign Exchange Committee page on the FPL website for more information.
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