History and Objectives
ALMA was formed in 1992 as a trade association of asset & liability risk management practitioners in leading banks, building societies and other related companies. ALMA's membership currently comprises over 40 UK and Irish institutions, and the association's focus is expanding further into Europe with well developed links with AFGAP, a similar body in France.
ALMA's primary aim is to promote awareness of asset and liability risk management issues and the development, communication and sharing of best practice in related risk management techniques and approaches. ALMA provides a deliberately informal forum in which risk management professionals can network and discuss the issues facing the industry and their responses to these challenges. The association has fostered a culture of candour and openness to share views on areas as diverse as risk systems strategy, structuring of balance sheets to manage liquidity, credit and capital, experience in e-commerce and strategic business direction.
Conferences and Events
Each year ALMA organises two conferences and a quarterly series of evening events for its members, covering a range of subjects topical at the time. The main annual conference is usually held on the last Friday in January at the Runnymede Hotel, near Heathrow Airport. The conference typically attracts an audience of some 100 asset & liability risk management practitioners and is preceded by a Thursday evening dinner with a guest speaker.
ALMA has had a consistent track record over the years in attracting leading executives, senior risk managers and regulators from the banking industry both as main guest dinner speaker and as conference presenters. Without exception speakers have been very well received and a stimulating, friendly and open two-way discussion has ensued. Previous guest dinner speakers at the annual conference have included Paul Tucker, Executive Director, Bank of England; Pat Ryan, then Group Treasurer, Allied Irish Bank Group; Gareth Jones, ex-Abbey National; Sir Brian Pitman; Peter Birch; Sir Peter Middleton; Sir Nicholas Goodison; Peter Gallant, then Group Treasurer, Barclays Bank Group; Carol Sergeant, Group Risk Director, Lloyds TSB; Adrian Coles, Director General of the Building Societies Association; former Conservative MP, Howard Flight; Richard Pym, chairman of Halfords and former CEO of Alliance & Leicester; Paul Sharma, Director, Wholesale Prudential Policy at the FSA and Angela Knight, Chief Executive of the BBA.
Contacts from the City and the academic community such as Professor Tim Congdon, Terry Smith, Roger Bootle, Geoffrey Dicks and other leading economists and analysts have over the years provided thought provoking discussions on the future of the mortgage market, interest rates and credit cycles.
The summer conference is typically held on a Friday in May or June at a venue away from London and is also preceded by a Thursday evening dinner. Summer Conferences have been held in Birmingham, Dublin, Bristol, Edinburgh, Paris and Leeds.
Four evening events are held annually in London - two in the spring and two in the autumn.
ALMA has also become a growing voice on emerging regulatory proposals, forming working groups of leading UK practitioners and lobbying effectively on IAS39, liquidity risk regulatory proposals emerging from the FSA and the Joint Forum of international regulators, David Miles' review of the UK mortgage market, and Basel 2 and the draft EU Capital Requirements Directive in relation to interest rate risk in the banking book.
The association has also developed a highly regarded education programme for ALM practitioners. This offers both a 3-day foundation course covering capital adequacy, interest rate risk and liquidity risk management; and an advanced course in Group balance sheet management for more experienced practitioners.