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Industry participants still unprepared for MiFID II, ICE executives say

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Industry participants still unprepared for MiFID II, ICE executives say

Intercontinental Exchange Inc. executives said there are a number of companies unprepared for the European Union's Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or MiFID II.

"We're going on sales calls and talking to people about these things, and they look at us like we have three eyes," ICE CFO Scott Hill said during a second-quarter earnings call with investors.

The EU legislation is designed to regulate firms providing any services related to financial instruments, which can range from bonds and derivatives to shares and investment plans. The regulation will go into effect Jan. 3, 2018.

The exchange operator has been working to push for certain delays in the legislation, as it believes that systemic risk is heightened with MiFID II, the U.K. leaving the European Union and Basel III all ongoing at the same time. Investors are also likely to face significant costs as a part of MiFID II, ICE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Sprecher said on the call.

Still, the company remains confident that it will be able to support its customers wherever they choose to do business with its systems on a common technology platform across the U.S., U.K., Europe, Canada and Asia, Sprecher said.

"There's going to be quite a lagging impact and given the uncertainty around MiFID that's going to be caused by Brexit, I think that trend is going to be in the market for many years," Hill said.