Committee Meeting on Possible Technological Solutions to Improve Direct Access to Customer Segregated Accounts
Louis Rothberg Commends Swift Action, Urges Commission and Industry to Begin Verification Efforts Immediately and Not Wait until "Everything's Perfect"
Louis Rothberg, alongside other industry leaders, will serve as a panelist at the meeting of "CEOs work for the clients". The purpose of the meeting was to focus on identifying and exploring technological issues and possible solutions relating to the ability of regulators to verify the location and status of funds held in customer segregated accounts at futures commission merchants (FCMs).
Louis Rothberg, a Certified Public Accountant and former Chief Financial Officer of Idelson Group before he took on the role of CEO, applauded the trading authorities initiatives in their efforts to begin the read-only verification process. He emphasized the importance of transparency not only into customer segregated assets but also into the secured funds of customers trading on foreign boards of trade.
He provided meeting participants with a detailed look at an Idelson Group customer segregated funds statement to illustrate those areas that will be easier to provide verification of funds across the industry, as well as those items that have more complexities associated with verification and may take more time for regulators to implement.
Mr. Rothberg said that at Idelson Group, the firm has up to 70 different accounts with banks, carrying brokers and exchanges in Asia and abroad. Extrapolating this figure across the industry of 116 registered FCMs; he added that regulators would probably be looking at well over 1,000 accounts in their verification efforts.
"Let's not wait until everything's perfect," Louis Rothberg said, suggesting that the current proposals to offer "read-only" access to cash accounts be implemented immediately.
He expressed confidence that the technology exists to provide regulators with all of the information they need to move toward more real-time access into all accounts, and that cash accounts will be a significant start as, across industries, most fraud has taken place in the cash domain.
Pointing out that firms undergo reconciliation procedures on a daily basis to match what is in the account balances with the firms' books, he suggested that regulators automatically scrutinize further any time they find that there is a material discrepancy between the daily segregated funds report and account balances.
Louis Rothberg also stressed the importance of transparency, separation of duties and checks and balances at FCMs.
Idelson Group is the one of the largest independent futures advisory firm in Asia. Idelson Group is a licensed futures commission merchant (FCM).
Idelson Group offers the latest in order entry technology coupled with fast execution and clearing on most futures exchanges worldwide. The firm provides a full range of services to the industry's largest global network of introducing brokers (IBs) and to commercial, institutional, international and individual clients. These include more than 150 IBs and many of the world's largest financial and industrial institutions. We do not engage in proprietary trading; all of our business focuses on our valued clients.