Swift Business Forum


Held in the Romanian Banking Institute‘s atrium

Bucharest, November 3rd 2011

The second edition of this event was organized with the support and contribution of the Romanian Banks Association, the Central Depository, SWIFT and last, but not least, Allevo. The event was a huge success, gathering almost 200 people doing business in the Romanian financial market. Extra chairs were needed and provided instantly by the hosts.

The highlight surely was the impressive SWIFT delegation, summing up no less than 8 participants, holding strategic positions within SWIFT: Andre Boico (Head of Pricing), Guy Beniada (Board Member, Managing Director, ING Belgium), Judit Baracs (Sr Account Director Payments Markets), John Falk (Securities Market Infrastructures), Nigel Evans (Sr Account Director Broker Dealers & Treasury), Stephan Kraft (Country Manager for Romania), Christian Kothe (Head of Central & Eastern Europe), Michael Formann (Head of SWIFT Austria). The first 6 delivered SWIFT’s message to the Romanian business community, using good content slides and the art of public speaking they all very well master.

The event was split into two sections: a payments panel in the morning and a securities panel in the afternoon.

Guy Beniada presented SWIFT’s strategy for 2015 and we could easily recognize things said at Sibos nearly one month ago in Toronto: lowering TCO, reducing costs, enabling interoperability and a few insights of Sibos itself.

We were proud to be reminded we are the only Romanian company exhibiting on the Sibos floor and we once again were invited by the SWIFT staff to be part of Sibos 2012. So it struck us that it would be a very good idea for the Romanian financial community to be better represented in this environment. We thought Romanian banks and financial institutions could think about building a shared booth at Sibos, just as banks of India have done over the past few years.

Andre Boico said two businesses are doing very well in Romania: securities and payments. Romania is back to growth and SWIFT has its eye on Romania and will monitor very closely the local market.

In the opening plenary , there were also statements from Petru Rares (Romanian Banking Institute), Radu Ghetea (Romanian Banks Association) who said the local banking system is a stable one due to the measures taken by the National Bank (read the full story in Romanian), Stere Farmache (Bucharest Stock Exchange), Felix Enescu (Gartner).

The payments panel was moderated by Rodica Tuchila (Director of the ARB) who introduced Luiza Lucaci (National Bank), Ionel Dumitru (TransFonD), Judit Baracs (SWIFT) and Corina Mihalache (Allevo). Corina made a full presentation on financial interoperability, reiterating the one given at Sibos and adding more insights on the status of our open qPayIntegrator project. The main idea of this project is creating a version of qPI on open source platforms and making this version available in an open source community as well. To tackle this initiative, we have spoken to a lot of specialists in open source community building, legal advisers, well known authors, possible partners, SWIFT’s innovation team, developers with experience in financial systems, consultants and so on. As Corina, said, we were surprised of how quickly this idea was embraced by all these people and how they immediately offer to actively contribute from this early stage of the project.

The securities panel was moderated by Adriana Tanasoiu (CSD) and she introduced John Falk (SWIFT), Catalin Chesu (National Bank), Gabriela Anghelache (CNVM), Gheorghe Tudor (CSD), Irina Savastre (UniCredit) and Nigel Evans (SWIFT).

John Falk focused on what Stephan Kraft called the “next step for Romania”: corporate actions. Nigel Evans talked about EMEA post trade services and so the day was concluded.

The solutions space at the back of the room housed the booths of CSD, SWIFT and Allevo and during the breaks interest was shown into both SWIFT’s solutions and Allevo’s offering for banks and qPayIntegrator, with all its business features. We’re available for any further questions on all open channels of communication.

Frankly I think this event could very nicely evolve into a two days yearly event, adding more subjects of interest to the agenda, summing more notorious panelists.

So let us all meet next year for another SWIFT Business Forum in Bucharest!

By: Ioana Guiman

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