You don't need to go back all that much further than five years to arrive at the beginnings of the business. In recognition of such relative youth, we have interviewed some of the prime movers who came together back then to make structured products what they are today. Applying technology adapted from the world of equity derivatives and convertible bonds to stock market indexes that for the most part did not exist 10 or 20 years ago, these innovators have played a big part in the development of a multi-billion dollar investment industry that now challenges all others.
Talking to the people that were enthusing about structured products 15 years ago has been enlightening as well as interesting. While everyone is ready and willing to acknowledge the important role that the French banking system had to play in the birth of the industry, numerous other banks also played their part in spreading the word to the investor community. Ten of the most influential figures in the market's short history offer their insights in this issue's fifth anniversary special report.
In tune with the stories that we have run over the past few years, this issue of the magazine features some important revelations on how the structured products business is faring. Chief among these is the feature on page 22 concerning Keydata, the UK structured products distributor that was declared insolvent at the beginning of June by the Financial Services Authority. Countless stories have followed in most of the UK's daily newspapers and online, although most appear to have missed the point. This is not another structured products scandal - in fact, it's quite the opposite. The structured products that Keydata looked after appear to be safe and protected - and could even be said to offer a lesson in how not to lose your money when an extraordinary fraud plays out.
Richard Jory, firstname.lastname@example.org
+44 (0)20 7484 9802.