Mar. 23 GEMI Energy Trading Conference Highlights Dodd-Frank

Published on February 21, 2012

Stellar Lineup of Academic, Industry and Government Speakers to Discuss New Financial Regulations

Registration is open for a Mar. 23 conference on “The Impact of Dodd-Frank on Energy Trading,” hosted by the Global Energy Management Institute at UH Bauer.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2010, brings the most sweeping changes in financial regulation to the American business sector since the Great Depression. The 848-page federal statute — a response to the 2007-2010 financial crisis and government bailout — will not spare the energy industry, either.

“Dodd-Frank is one of the biggest things that’s going to happen to energy trading for this year and several years to come,” says Craig Pirrong, a finance professor at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business and director of energy markets for the college’s Global Energy Management Institute (GEMI). Thus it only made sense for him to make Dodd-Frank the focus of GEMI’s 2012 Energy Trading Conference, to be held March 23 at the Hilton University of Houston.

“The Impact of Dodd-Frank on Energy Trading” brings together government regulators, energy traders, bankers, Washington lobbyists and oil-industry players for what promises to be a spirited and topical conversation.  Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Scott O’Malia opens the dialogue, and CME Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Craig Donohue gives the luncheon address.

Asked to talk a little about why he wanted to focus on Dodd-Frank, Pirrong said the fallout of the legislation on the energy industry will be costly, if not bleak. “Dodd-Frank is going to have a major impact on firms throughout the energy business,” says the professor, a highly regarded and frequently quoted expert on commodities and derivatives. “So essentially everybody in the energy value chain is going to be impacted in multiple ways.”

“Dodd-Frank is one of the biggest things that’s going to happen to energy trading for this year and several years to come,” says Craig Pirrong, a UH Bauer finance professor and director of energy markets for UH GEMI.

Pirrong, a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Working Group on Financial Markets, continued: “It’s going to make it more costly and difficult for firms to manage their price exposures. It’s going to make it harder for them to manage their risks. So that’s going to be the first order of impact. In addition, I think it’s eventually going to cause major complications in cash flow and cash-flow risks.”

The 8th Annual Energy Trading Conference, which runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 23, is now open for registration. The cost is $199, but discounts for UH alumni and early registrants (before Feb. 24) apply. The conference is worth three hours of Continuing Professional Education or Continuing Legal Education credit.

Here’s a look at the line-up, with remarks by Pirrong:

Scott O’Malia. A Commodity Futures Trading Commission member since 2009, O’Malia has an extensive background in agriculture and energy markets. Before starting his CFTC term, he served as the Staff Director to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. Says Pirrong: “Scott is the commissoner who is probably the most sympathetic and most knowledgeable about industry concerns.”

Craig Donohue. CEO of CME Group (formerly Chicago Mercantile Exchange). “CME is the largest energy-trading exchange in the world and also operates the largest energy-derivatives clearing business, and clearing is an important part of Dodd-Frank.”

Colin Fenton. Managing Director, Global Head of Commodities Research and Strategy, J.P. Morgan. “Colin represents the finance and banking side, which is going to be impacted in the way it deals with its energy customers.”

George Baker, Principal, Williams & Jensen. “He’s a lobbyist in D.C. and very, very knowledgeable about the politics of financial regulation and particularly things related to derivatives and derivatives trade.”

Sam Henry. President & CEO, IPR-GDF SUEZ Energy Marketing NA Inc. “Sam has spoken at several of our events in the past. He represents the energy marketing/gas and power side of the industry.”

Bob Reilley. Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Shell Energy. “Bob will speak about the impact of Dodd-Frank on the trading operations of a supermajor.”

 By Wendell Brock

For more information or to register, click here.

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