ISDA Symposium® Benchmark Reform: Update on ISDA and Industry Initiatives

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
New York

Member US$400.00

Non-Member US$500.00

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This half-day symposium will provide an update on benchmark reform efforts globally. Since 2013, IOSCO and the FSB Official Sector Steering Group (OSSG) and public-private sector working groups in various jurisdictions have been working to reform major interest rate benchmarks, identify alternative rates and develop plans for adoption of those rates. In parallel with these efforts, ISDA and others have been leading work to enhance contractual robustness of derivatives and other financial instruments by implementing clear and certain fallbacks that would apply if a key benchmark is permanently discontinued. The importance of this work was amplified in July 2017 when the UK Financial Conduct Authority announced that it would not compel or persuade panel banks to submit to LIBOR after 2021, which called into question the future of LIBOR after that date. This symposium will cover market, economic, operational and legal issues related to these topics.

Educational Credits

3.5 CLE Credit Hours Available (New York)

3.5 CPE Credit Hours Available

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Print Agenda ISDA Symposium® Benchmark Reform: Update on ISDA and Industry Initiatives for

8:15 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM Introduction and Welcoming Remarks Ann M. Battle

Ann M. Battle, Assistant General Counsel, Head of Benchmark Reform, ISDA

9:15 AM Introduction to Alternative Risk-Free Rates and Work of the Risk-Free Rate Working Groups Matt Hoffman, Vishal M. Mahadkar, Agha Mirza, Steffan Tsilimos

What are SOFR, SONIA, €STER, SARON, TONA and the similar rates identified as alternatives to LIBOR and other IBORs? Why are they more robust than the IBORs? How are these rates currently traded and what needs to happen over the next three years to ensure that liquid markets develop? How are they used to value collateral for cleared and non-cleared derivatives?What are the risk-free rate working groups in relevant jurisdictions doing to promote adoption of the alternative rates? What will happen to legacy transactions that reference LIBOR and other IBORs? What are the impacts on the cross-currency derivatives market?  This panel will specifically focus on expectations for €STR in the Eurozone.

Matt Hoffman, Director, Global Real Estate, Chatham Financial
Vishal M. Mahadkar, Vice President, IB FIC – Commercial Real Estate, Deutsche Bank
Agha Mirza, Managing Director, Global Head of Interest Rate Products, CME Group
Steffan Tsilimos, Global Head of Interest Rate Derivatives Products, Bloomberg Financial Markets

10:15 AM Transition to Risk-Free Rates and Implementation of Fallbacks in Derivatives Ann M. Battle, Ilene K. Froom, Jeffrey L. Steiner, Owen Taylor, Alex van Voorhees

At the request of the FSB OSSG, ISDA is leading global work to implement fallbacks for LIBOR, EURIBOR and other key IBORs in the 2006 ISDA Definitions. ISDA and its members are also working to build derivatives markets in the alternative risk-free rates on a going forward basis and to address risks of legacy portfolios, including in particular legacy portfolios that reference LIBOR and EURIBOR. This panel will cover ISDA’s work and touch on how all the different initiatives fit together within the cleared and non-cleared derivatives markets. It will also cover implications for derivatives collateral and discounting, applicable regulation in certain jurisdictions and work that is underway to remove any regulatory, accounting, tax or similar impediments to implementing derivatives reforms.

Ann M. Battle, Assistant General Counsel, Head of Benchmark Reform, ISDA
Ilene K. Froom, Partner, Reed Smith LLP
Jeffrey L. Steiner, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Owen Taylor, Head of Legal – Rates and FX Derivatives, LCH
Alex van Voorhees, Director & Assistant General Counsel, Bank of America

11:30 AM Coffee Break

11:45 AM Interactions Between Cash Products and Derivatives Raj Aidasani, Alexis Pederson, Lary Stromfeld, Tess Virmani

Numerous cash products, including loans, securitizations, bonds and consumer products also reference LIBOR and other IBORs. What efforts are underway globally to transition these products to alternative risk-free rates? How are derivatives and cash markets coordinating to ensure continued effectiveness of hedges and as much consistency as possible in the market? How should market participants address legacy exposure to LIBOR in particular in cash products (e.g., bonds) that are difficult or impossible to amend?

Raj Aidasani, Senior Director, CRE Finance Council
Alexis Pederson, Senior Company Counsel, Wells Fargo & Company
Lary Stromfeld, Partner, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Tess Virmani, Associate General Counsel & Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Loan Syndications & Trading Association (LSTA)

12:45 PM Symposium Concludes

Agenda is subject to change.

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ISDA Conference Center, 10 East 53rd Street (entrance on 52nd and 53rd Street), 8th Floor, New York, NY 10022, Phone: +1 (212) 901-6000. Please find a map to the venue here.

ISDA has a special rate available at the Omni Berkshire Place21 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022, +1 212-753-5800, located on the same block as the ISDA Conference Center. For reservations online click here OR call the Reservation Center at +1 888-843-6664 and mention the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) special rate. ISDA’s special rate is based on availability at the time of booking.

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Raj Aidasani

Senior Director

CRE Finance Council

Ann M. Battle

Assistant General Counsel, Head of Benchmark Reform



Ilene K. Froom


Reed Smith LLP


Matt Hoffman

Director, Global Real Estate

Chatham Financial


Vishal M. Mahadkar

Vice President, IB FIC – Commercial Real Estate

Deutsche Bank

Agha Mirza

Managing Director, Global Head of Interest Rate Products

CME Group


Alexis Pederson

Senior Company Counsel

Wells Fargo & Company

Jeffrey L. Steiner


Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP


Lary Stromfeld


Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP


Owen Taylor

Head of Legal – Rates and FX Derivatives



Steffan Tsilimos

Global Head of Interest Rate Derivatives Products

Bloomberg Financial Markets


Tess Virmani

Associate General Counsel & Senior Vice President, Public Policy

Loan Syndications & Trading Association (LSTA)


Alex van Voorhees

Director & Assistant General Counsel

Bank of America

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Registration fee is for one person to attend the entire event. Pass may not be split between multiple attendees.
Groups of three or more attendees from the same firm can receive a 20% discount on most event registrations. Groups must be registered together, in advance of the event. To register your group, please email

Member US$400.00

Non-Member US$500.00

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Some knowledge of derivatives documentation is assumed. No advance preparation is required.
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ISDA is an accredited provider of continuing education credits by the following organizations:

  • CLE

    ISDA has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an Accredited Provider of continuing legal education in the state of New York.

  • CPE Sponsory

    ISDA is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors: 150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN 37219-2417.

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