Opening Address by Chair Ian Russell to the Annual General

Ian Russell, President and CEO, the Investment Industry Association
of Canada (IIAC) and Chair, International Council of Securities
Associations (ICSA) Opening Remarks
2015 ISCA Annual General Meeting
Mumbai, India
April 15, 2015
It is my great pleasure as Chair of ICSA to extend a warm welcome to all of you to this, the
28th annual conference of the International Council of Securities Association. Before I go any further in
my remarks, I want to express our gratitude and thanks to our hosts, the BSE Brokers Forum here in
Mumbai, led by Vispi Bharthena and his colleagues at the BBF, for organizing the conference today and
tomorrow. We recognize the strategizing, hard work and patience needed to put together this annual
conference, both the presentation sessions, and the social program. We thank most sincerely for your
We are fortunate to be in this beautiful city of Mumbai for this year’s annual conference for several
reasons. First, this is the first time in the nearly 30-year history of the association that our annual
conference has convened in India. This is a timely opportunity and unforgettable experience to see this
dynamic country up close and personal. Hopefully many of you have already seen the sights in Mumbai,
but don’t worry. You will get another opportunity this evening.
Second, the panel sessions and discussion among conference delegates and presenters will give all of us
the opportunity to better understand India and its people, its business community and importantly its
enormous potential. And you had better stay focused. In coming years India will make its mark
increasingly felt on the world stage.
The feature of India that strikes many of us travelling from abroad is its diversity – a kaleidoscope of
cultures, religions, and regions. But there is a common thread that runs through the Indian people: their
talent, creativity, bursting energy and entrepreneurism. And I will add one more: perseverance. It has
not always been easy. The first 40 years of independence from the British Raj were difficult ones, with
business weighed down with left-leaning policies. Growth spurted ahead in the early 1990s and is now
set to take off under the new government of Narenda Modi.
These qualities are already known to many of us from outside India because we work and live among
Indians descended from the sub-continent. The Indian diaspora is large, reflective of the drive and
vitality of the Indian people. In my country Canada, where your Prime Minister Narenda Modi visits this
week, the Indo-Canadian community is large and spread right across the country, and has made itself
felt in every walk of life, contributing to the prosperity and future of Canada.
Third, Vispi and his colleagues have designed an interesting agenda of speakers that runs
the gamut from industry cyber threats and defenses, to the future of trading and clearing in global
equity markets, to the priorities for regulators, and finally to the outlook for the Asian economies and
growth of market-based financing. These sessions will provide knowledge and insight, both to contribute
to the ICSA policy agenda and provide background to enable all of you to carry out a industry leadership
role in your home jurisdictions.
You cannot come away from India without sensing the country is on the verge of an accelerating upward
trajectory in growth. The creativity and energy of the Indian people, with the application of leading-edge
technology, will unleash a talented and skilled workforce. But the potential extends beyond that. The
rapidly improving infrastructure in the country, English as the spoken language in the workplace, and the
firm tradition of rule of law founded in a sophisticated and respected judicial system, will make India a
magnet for foreign capital.
As case in point, I was in Washington several weeks ago at the Invest USA Summit hosted by the US
Administration. The Summit attracted businesses and executives from all over the world. Throughout
the conference I kept bumping into many Indo-Americans, born and brought up in the United States,
and yet working directly for Indian companies or in some consulting role, seeking to establish joint
ventures for Indian businesses and attract capital to India. Many of these young professionals seem to
have one foot in America and the other in India. They understand the emerging power of India. They can
feel it. And they want to be part of it. I hope that by the time this conference ends, you too will feel that
May I repeat Chairman Siddharth Shah’s written welcome to you in the conference brochure: Namaste.
Enjoy the conference.