ISDA Chief Executive Officer Scott O'Malia offers informal comments on important OTC derivatives issues in derivatiViews, reflecting ISDA's long-held commitment to making the market safer and more efficient.

There is little doubt that generative artificial intelligence (AI) will reshape our lives in ways we can’t yet imagine, removing the need for human intervention from countless tasks and processes. In the derivatives market, the power of AI to near-instantly process vast amounts of unstructured information to identify patterns and insights could bring enormous efficiencies and savings in the years to come. With this in mind, we’re looking for a new generation of industry leaders to explore the current applications of generative AI and its future uses.

The ISDA Future Leaders in Derivatives (IFLD) program, now entering its third year, has quickly established itself as a terrific forum for emerging leaders to work collaboratively with their peers to analyze an emerging topic and set out their collective vision on a path forward. Since the program was established in 2021, we’ve published IFLD whitepapers on sustainability-linked derivatives, innovation in derivatives markets and energy security. All three papers made a valuable contribution to their respective topics and were well received by ISDA members.

Nominations are now open for the third cohort of future leaders for enrollment into the program later this year. The successful candidates will immediately start evaluating the future of generative AI, working to engage with stakeholders, develop consensus positions and produce their own IFLD whitepaper. While working towards that goal, participants will be given access to a range of training courses – both in person and online – to support their professional development. As in previous years, a subset of the future leaders will present and discuss their findings on stage at ISDA’s 38th Annual General Meeting, which will take place in Tokyo in April 2024.

AI has various applications in derivatives markets, many of which are already being explored, but having fresh perspectives on this topic from the leaders of tomorrow will provide valuable insights as we continue this journey. We’ll be asking the successful candidates to consider how generative AI might improve key functions in derivatives markets, including research and analytics, collateral, risk management, document review and the application of data standards. They will need to consider the opportunities and the challenges, including some of the ethical dilemmas that might arise.

This is a complex and challenging topic, which is why we’re looking for rising stars to take it on. Participants will engage regularly with ISDA staff throughout the program, and the draft paper will be reviewed and approved by ISDA’s leadership team. Prospective candidates should have between five and 10 years of experience in the derivatives market and will also need to have demonstrated leadership potential within their own firms. As always, we will be looking to enroll a cohort that reflects the demographic, cultural and professional diversity of the financial services sector.

If you think you might be a good fit for the IFLD, or have a colleague you’d like to nominate, please do get in touch. I’m really looking forward to launching this program and engaging with a new group of future leaders on a topic that couldn’t be more timely and relevant.

The deadline for applications for the IFLD is September 8 – for more information about the application process, contact

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