Asia TraderForum (ATF) is a private membership group formed in 2012 by the buy-side for the buy-side and run by Institutional Investor for heads of buy-side trading at international asset management firms. The membership’s mission is to help support the development of fair and efficient markets throughout the Asia-Pacific. With twenty four members across asset management firms representing well over $500 billion USD in assets under management in Asia, ATF represents a broad view of international buy-side participants.
The group serves as a medium for buy-side traders in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss issues of common concern and express their views with a common voice. Since its establishment, ATF has been reaching out to regulators and exchanges throughout the Asia-Pacific region to start ongoing dialogues on market structure, policies and procedures while also conducting surveys and research for its members on trading and brokerage practices.
The Asia TraderForum was one of five professional associations that worked to create a due diligence template to assist the buy- and sell-side to comply with new Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) regulations. Effective January 2014, the SFC require brokers to show that they have proper management and controls for the electronic trading systems and investment managers to ensure that they understand those systems. ATF joined with the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA), FIX Trading Community and the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association (HKIFA) to create a template to assist brokers, and for fund managers to comply with the rule. Brokers can complete this standard questionnaire and transmit it to their buy-side clients using Markit Counterparty Manager; the clients can then electronically indicate that they have received and reviewed the information.
HKEx is the only exchange within developed markets without a closing auction mechanism. Due to a previous failed attempt at implementing a closing auction mechanism in Hong Kong, HKEx has been hesitant about putting one in place without the support of local broker associations. ATF members are working to come up with a viable closing auction mechanism for Hong Kong that could be easily supported by HKEx and the SFC.
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