My topic will be something along these lines - "The Global Regulatory Landscape: Developments for OTC Commodity Derivatives".
I'll be speaking on recent developments in the U.S., and then I will move on to talk about Europe. Finally I'll wrap up by discussing a few countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
I will probably have just one hour to cover all that. So the talk is going to be quite "big picture" and "high-level".
I used to do a lot of legal work relating specifically to commodities - oil, gold, sugar, steel and coal, for instance - but I haven't done much of it in the past year. However, I have been doing plenty of work relating to the G20 commitments made in September 2009.
The G20 commitments aim to revamp the derivatives industry worldwide. To a greater or lesser extent, they will affect all classes of derivatives, including commodity derivatives. And for the purposes of my April conference, the commodities angle is what I'll be focusing on.
From a career perspective, many people in the derivatives industry are worried about the G20 commitments. Potentially, the changes might greatly benefit the exchanges (such as SGX). But they will hurt many bank employees currently working in derivatives-related jobs. I predict that many of those jobs will eventually disappear, perhaps by as soon as the end of 2012.
As for myself, well, I too am a bank employee working in a derivatives-related job. So I think that I am at some risk too. But for at least the next two years, I should be okay. That's because with a little luck and strategising, I've managed to position myself as an expert on the legal issues arising out of the G20 commitments. In other words, I'm still needed to guide and advise my employer - on those very same developments that will eliminate many other people's jobs.
In fact, because the legal developments from the G20 committee are so new and complex, there are still relatively few lawyers who know them well. That's why I even get invited to be a conference speaker on such topics.