This year is the 30th anniversary of Risk magazine’s launch; good going for a title that started life with a relatively hazy mission, and journalists who spent the first couple of years “fumbling our way through uncharted territory”, as founder Peter Field later wrote.
The magazine was not alone in that. Bankers Trust, Morgan Grenfell, Salomon Brothers, Swiss Banking Corporation and other long-gone names were exploring the potential of the over-the-counter derivatives markets on trading floors that had a single desktop computer; the International Swap Dealers Association was drawing up its first master agreement; and the bank regulators of 12 nations were working on a common prudential framework that would come to be known as the Basel Capital Accord.
As the world has changed, so has the content of Risk magazine, but the quantitative, technical thread running through the coverage remains the same – and so does our aim. As was the case for Peter and his original team, our journalists today are still looking for important, under-reported stories in the worlds of risk management and risk transfer.
There is another similarity. Today, market participants are again taking tentative steps into a world with no maps. Wherever you look, business models, products and services are being challenged – many are already in flux – and the winners have yet to be decided.
So, we will not be spending our anniversary year looking backwards. Over the course of 2017, we will examine some of the topics where the scope for change seems greatest, and try to sketch out the future.
First, we will look at some of the ways in which dealers are trying to use technology to buttress their trading businesses. That crop of articles will be available online later in February, and will appear in the next print edition.
Then, in sequence, we’ll be looking at the changing role of quants and how the leading quantitative finance courses are adapting; the transfer of exotic risks from dealers to asset managers; and the future of international regulatory standards. We’ll pick two more topics as the year wears on, and will also be running a series of interviews with some of the biggest names from around our markets. All of this material will bear the ‘Risk30’ logo.
Trying to divine the future can, of course, be perilous, but journalists have far less to lose than the individuals and organisations we write for. Good luck to all of you, and many thanks for your support over the years.