Opening remarks: meeting varied people - speech by Andrea Rosen

Given at Diversity in Market Intelligence: Launching our Meeting Varied People Initiative
Published on 21 April 2021

Andrea Rosen, Head of our Markets Intelligence and Analysis Division, gave the opening speech to launch our Meeting Varied People initiative. 

We designed this initiative so we can hear from a more diverse range of people who work in financial markets. We will use this insight to inform the decisions we make on, for example, setting interest rates and designing our market operations. 

Speech

Good morning and thank you for coming to the launch of the Bank of England’s “Meeting Varied People (MVP)” initiative. We had hoped to be in a position to host this event in person, but are happy that you could join us virtually.

My name is Andrea Rosen, and I am the Head of Market Intelligence and Analysis at the Bank of England. It is my pleasure to introduce Governor Andrew Bailey, whose support has been essential to this particular effort, as well as to the Bank’s wider strategy on diversity and inclusion.

Let me first briefly tell you about our market intelligence activities and why pursuing diversity in our markets contacts is so important.

Market Intelligence is the “eyes and ears” of the Bank of England in financial markets. For centuries the most recognisable face of the Bank in the market was a man in a top hat, with the grand job title of “Senior Broker to the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt”footnote [1]. The role was created by William Pitt the Younger in 1786, and he – it was always a he, and a senior partner at one of the City’s brokerage firms – combined the task of gathering intelligence on investors’ mood and appetite for sterling stock and cash with a range of other responsibilities, including announcing, in person, changes to the Bank’s minimum lending ratefootnote [2]. The market intelligence function only moved to be a position on the Bank of England staff in 1986. Debt issuance is now the remit of the DMO, while Bank rate announcements have been automated. Today, the man in top hat has been replaced by a network of around 70 gatherers from across the Bank, covering global markets, and led by a woman from Ecuador.

Our market intelligence and analysis operations evaluate and interpret information gathered from market participants such as all of you, to support the decisions of our Monetary Policy, Financial Policy and Prudential Regulation Committees. We monitor and analyse real-time market conditions and their implications for policy. But our mission goes beyond that, using our broader understanding of market trends and functioning we also play a vital role in shaping the decisions and policies that impact financial markets over the longer term, on everything from the use of the Bank’s balance sheet, to operational resilience, to digital currencies, to climate finance, to developing the appropriate tools to address market dysfunction in the future. Our team helps design and calibrate the market operations through which the Bank implements monetary policy, and provides liquidity insurance to the financial system. And we help deliver initiatives to improve the fairness and effectiveness of financial markets, using the Bank’s influence to catalyse market-led reform – such as the transition away from LIBOR.

Gathering the widest possible range of well-informed views from diverse market contacts is absolutely essential to what we do. It ensures that we get the best information possible to fulfil our mission: testing our views against those in the market, across regions and asset classes, exploring the different possible explanations for trends, and understanding the expectations and impact around each of the Bank’s policy decisions.

We already pursue diversity as a regular course of business but today we want to take things further:

  • First, we are re-launching the Bank’s Market Intelligence Charter to reflect our diversity objectives more clearly.footnote [3]
  • Second, we are publishing the UK Money Markets Committee’s three-yearly update to its Code, which highlights much more prominently the importance and benefits of a diverse team.footnote [4]
  • And, third– which this is where you and your colleagues come in – we want to build connections between our intelligence gatherers at all levels with future and diverse leaders within your institutions. We hope that today’s networking event, and the relationships it will foster, can help support diversity efforts across the broader financial industry.

So, let’s get started. Today’s event will begin with a speech by the Governor, followed by a panel discussion. We will then break out into networking sessions, where the diverse individuals that you have nominated will be assigned to meet the relevant Market Intelligence teams for whichever asset class or region they are experts in. We hope that these sessions will help build new ties between our institutions that will far outlast today’s launch.

On behalf of everyone involved in Markets at the Bank, thank you again for your attendance today, and for your ongoing support of our mission.

I will now pass over to the Governor, Andrew Bailey.

References

Shafik, Minouche (2015), Goodbye ambiguity, hello clarity: the Bank of England’s relationship with financial markets

Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt – National Debt Commissioners

I am grateful to Christine Boykiw, Sam Juthani, Ankita Mehta and Arjun Popat for their assistance in helping me prepare these remarks.

  1. The role of the Senior Broker is today held by Sir Robert Stheeman, Chief Executive of the Debt Management Office.

  2. Shafik (2015)

  3. The updated MI Charter

  4. The updated UK Money Markets Codes

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