Morgan Stanley’s O’Connor Leaving to Be Full-Time ISDA Chair

Stephen O’Connor is leaving Morgan Stanley (MS) to become full-time chairman of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association as the $633 trillion privately negotiated swaps market faces regulation for the first time.

O’Connor, who joined Morgan Stanley in 1988 and held several positions in regulatory-reform strategy, clearing and counterparty risk management, is starting in the broadened role effective today, New York-based ISDA said in a statement. O’Connor has been on the group’s board since 2008 and was elected chairman by its members in April 2011 while he stayed on at Morgan Stanley.

The industry group is navigating rules under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that include increased collateral requirements for swaps-market participants and a mandate that most trades be backed by a clearinghouse.

“ISDA’s mission, leadership and activities have never been more important in building safe, efficient markets for all users of derivatives,” O’Connor said in the statement.

O’Connor, who set up Morgan Stanley’s counterparty portfolio management group, was most recently focused on over-the-counter derivatives regulations, according to an internal Morgan Stanley memo announcing the departure. Mark Lake, a spokesman for the bank in New York, confirmed the contents of the memo.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at

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