The Credit Derivatives School Report

Looking Back at the First Credit Derivative School

Samik Mukherjee

My first reaction on hearing that we may be holding a seven-day residential course on credit derivatives was that of surprise. As always, I had several excuses to back my position of avoiding work and spent no time pointing out to Mr. Kothari that this would surely turn to be a no-show event especially with respect to Indian participants, and suggested that we should not go forward with it. The Indian regulator has not laid down a clear position with respect to credit derivatives; this made the participation of Indian Banks unlikely. Again, since most large foreign banks having operations in India have already taken this workshop on in-house basis, the chances of Indian participants was very less. Although we have always enjoyed good participation of the foreign participants, a workshop in India without Indian participants seemed odd. But Mr. Kothari was equally determined to hold the conference; finally a compromise was reached we decided that we will upload the brochure on the website and decide on whether to hold it or not depending on the response.

The response came as a pleasant surprise to us. The first to register was a lawyer from the British Virgin Islands. Thereafter reservations came in from Australia, Singapore, and Japan. Cohen Brothers and Company, a reputed player and collateral manager in the CDO market from the USA was pleased to co- sponsor the workshop.

As we started the final preparations for the workshop, we had but one regret- the absence of Indian participation. That regret was soon removed when ICICI Bank, India’s premiere Bank registered four participants.

Finally, we had an extremely interesting mix. In terms of geographies, we had USA, Australia, Singapore, Japan, British Virgin Islands, and of course, India. In terms of interest areas, we had collateral managers, practicing lawyers, in-house lawyer from international bank, CDO structurers, arrangers, investment bankers, corporate bankers, structured finance professionals, securities market professionals, specialized servicers and academics.

Both the faculty and the participants seemed to have enjoyed the event thoroughly. A lot of feedback comes from informal discussions on the sidelines – since I have been always meeting and mixing with the participants, I know that they were very satisfied.

Let us also look at the participants’ formal feedbacks:

On a scale of 16 to 1 (16 being the best and 1 being the worst)-
1. Quality of the course- All the participants rated the course to be Excellent;
2. Rating of the Speaker- Except one all the participants rated the speaker in the excellent category. One participant rated the speaker in the good category;
3. Quality of the Presentation- Except one all the participants rated the quality of the presentation to be Excellent. The only dissenting participant rated the course to be Good;
4. Seminar Arrangements- Except two participants, all others rated the seminar arrangements to be Excellent. The two participants rated the arrangements to be Good.

Note- It is not obligatory for any participant to write a feedback review form. The participants may not disclose their names in the feedback form.

We thank the participants for their support and encouragements. We have decided that the Credit Derivative School would be a regular event held at least once every year in Kolkata. We look forward to the next event.

And by the way, we have already announced our next Securitisation School.

[Samik Mukherjee, Advocate is a part of the Vinod Kothari Consultants team and can be contacted at]]