Bruce Colquhoun and I recently returned from a busy week after attending two great events; the Energy Buyers Conference in Florida and the FIA Expo in Chicago. Both events, although excellent, suffered because of Hurricane Sandy, which meant there was limited representation from New York and the surrounding areas in the Northeast United States.
FIA attracts a crowd largely from the futures industry. In the past, the focus was on finance and trading, and while the emphasis on these areas is still quite prominent, a lot of the vendors and attendees are now from the technology space. It was an eye opener to see the number of prop shops and independents that are operating out of Chicago and I imagine we missed a number from other areas as well.
The mood in the market is a bit apprehensive, as participants are still unsure whether the reduced volatility in the market and the kind of volumes in trade activities that we saw before the economic crisis will continue. Certainly some of the larger banking counterparties are no longer in the mix, which is depressing markets. There is some fear around trading and there is also some fear around Dodd-Frank, which altogether is depressing some of the market activity.
For ZE, and myself, the event was an excellent opportunity to connect with our partners, and to meet with a new class of potential clients and partners, and certainly we are going to take a lot of heart from that. We look forward to the possibility of attending FIA in Boca Raton, Florida, come 2013 and look forward to following up with the many people that we met at the event.