The Association of Futures Markets (AFM) is a not-for-profit association formally established in 1998 in Buenos Aires, Argentina founded by 10 members: Budapest Commodity Exchange, the Central Clearing House and Depository Ltd. of Budapest, the Romanian Commodities Exchange, the Buenos Aires Futures Exchange, the Amsterdam Commodity Exchange, South African Futures Exchange, the Warsaw Commodity Exchange and the Malaysian Derivatives Exchange).
The prime objective of the Association is to promote and encorage the establishment of new derivative and related markets and to organize international conferences in order to promote communication among members, to strengthen their relationship and to transfer information and experience among them.
The Early Days
Because some of the driving forces were in Hungary the Association was established under Hungarian law. The Association barely had the minimum 10 founding members needed and soon after AFM’s establishment one of the founding members had to leave the Association. AFM barely survived but thanks to new members it managed to do so.
Still, it was a struggle. New members were rare and the annual conference of the Association was little known among market participants. In average 20-25 participants registered and fees barely covered expenses .
A clear milestone in the short history of AFM was in 2001 when Paul Meier and Paul-Andre Jacot of the Swiss Futures and Options Association (SFOA) visited AFM. The discussions held led to a close co-operation, especially the hosting of a special Emerging Markets Forum during SFOA’s regular Burgenstock event as well as support in our own conference. This opened exceptional opportunities for AFM: exposure to the “mature” world of derivatives and to reach out to potential new members. The Emerging Markets Forum has become an important part of Burgenstock and has made AFM’s name known among many market participants. This in turn helped the AFM Annual Conference attract a growing number of attendees each year and make it an event not to be missed. As a result AFM membership has increased considerably since 2001.
Where is AFM now and what are its aims ?
Membership is purposely open to a wide variety of market participants to assure broad perspectives in the participation and as a result exchanges, clearing houses, traders as well as other participants in the industry have joined and support AFM.
Clearly AFM wants to expand its membership by growing regionally across the board and establish itself further as the Trade Association for the Emerging Markets, helping the members navigate the difficult seas on the way to success. This is not meant to be in competition with established Organizations but rather as a complement.
It’s conferences are held in different places each year (recently they were held in Istanbul, Bucharest and Budapest). Panel discussions are held where important issues facing emerging exchanges are discussed in co-operation with established markets as well as market participants. The focus is on active discussion and not sales pitches, making it more interesting for participants. Obviously, the social part is not forgotten – networking is an integral part of any association and time is taken to learn something of the culture and history of the host country..
10th Anniversary Convention in Buenos Aires
It was a great pleasure to return to our birthplace for the 10th anniversary conference. It was clear that the location may lead to a somewhat reduced attendance but it gave us a chance to be present in a rapidly growing area of our world.
Anniversaries call for a special event, happening or something. We chose not only a very special venue for the conference but also decided to publish our first book. It was a great pleasure that Patrick Young, author of many bestselling books and regular speaker at derivatives conferences, agreed to write “The Exchange Manifesto”. This book is a primer of markets, providing information to help the establishment and developments of derivatives and other markets around the world. It was formally presented during the 10th Annual Conference in Buenos Aires.
We believe it will become a classic publication which will help promote AFM and its marketplaces as well as providing a welcome tool to promote exchange market and derivatives literacy in the world. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all that made this publication possible with their support.
How to contact AFM
For more information on AFM, its members and its conferences, please contact Krisztina Kasza, Head of Secretariat of AFM at krisztina--.at.--afmorg.net or (36-30) 34 35 370 (phone) or (36-1) 249 0057 (fax).