2019 ECMI AC: Unlocking Europe’s Hidden Capital Markets

Published in 
TOWNHALL EUROPE, Square de Meeûs 5-6, 1000 Brussels-BE

As the EU is setting its priorities for the next five years, a rigorous assessment of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) and a new focus is required. The CMU has been successful in terms of legislation, but much less so in its impact on markets, which remain highly fragmented. There is a need for re-branding and political support at the highest level if CMU is to achieve its objectives. Last year, our annual conference focused on equity markets. This year, we will bring together policymakers, industry representatives and academics to exchange views on the continuation of the CMU, the functioning of sovereign and corporate debt securities markets as well as feature a special debate on sustainable finance.



19:00 - 21:00    Dinner debate with a keynote speech by Steven Maijoor, Chairman, European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)


08:30 – 09:00   Registration

09:00 – 09:15    Opening remarks 

  • Fabrice Demarigny, Global Head of Financial Advisory Services and Capital Markets Activities, Mazars; Chairman of ECMI Board

09:15 – 10:00    In conversation with stakeholders: How to make CMU a reality? 

  • Markus Ferber, MEP, ECON Committee 
  • Others tbc

10:00 – 11:00    Panel debate: Delivering integration through a European safe asset 
The CMU initiative is essential for growth and stability in the EU as a whole. However, progress on the agenda has proven difficult and slow. Many argue for creation of a European safe asset that will contribute to private sector risk-sharing, a deeper and more liquid bond market, enhance the international role of the euro and lower the risks on banks’ balance sheets. Others warn against the dangers of an ‘artificial’ safe asset and advocate for more portfolio diversification. Structural dispersions across EU members states and the lack of political consensus also stand in the way. How can these differences be overcome?

  • Natacha Valla, Deputy Director General of Monetary Policy, European Central Bank
  • Levin Holle, Director General for Financial Markets Policy, German Federal Ministry of Finance

11:00– 11:30    Coffee break

11:30– 12:30    Panel debate: Re-shaping corporate debt markets in Europe
Corporate bond markets are possibly the only real European capital market. The market has grown strongly since the introduction of the euro (and in particular since 2007), and is not bound by localisation requirements for issuance. However, regulatory overlaps and inconsistencies may also hold back this development. New prospectus rules should ease access for mid-sized enterprises. Public or private corporate bond markets also provide a valuable asset class in a diversified investment strategy. On the secondary markets, market participants have been raising concerns about deteriorating liquidity. What opportunities lie ahead for issuers and investors?

  • Mats Isaksson, Head of the Corporate Affairs Division, OECD 
  • Jean-Marc Mercier, Global Co-Head of Debt Capital Markets, HSBC; Deputy Chair of ICMA Board

12:30 - 13:00     Keynote speech by Mario Nava, Director for Horizontal Policies, DG FISMA, European Commission

13:00 – 14:00    Lunch

14:00 – 15:00    In conversation with stakeholders: Where next for sustainable insurance? 

  • Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman, European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)
  • Pascal Christory, Chief Investment Officer, AXA Group
  • Swenja Surminski, Head of Adaptation Research, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE 

Moderator: Josina Kamerling, Head of Regulatory Outreach EMEA, CFA Institute

15:00– 15:45    2019 ECMI Best Paper: Presentation & Award Ceremony

  • Andrei Kirilenko, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge; Chair, ECMI Academic Committee

15:45– 16:00       Final remarks

  • Karel Lannoo, CEO, CEPS and General Manager, ECMI