Dan Thieke, Managing Director and General Manager, Settlement & Asset Services business, DTCC, delivered the keynote speech at this year’s Bank Depository User Group (BDUG) Annual Meeting in Clearwater, Fla.
Providing an update on and insight into key DTCC initiatives, Thieke talked about corporate actions, dematerialization, settlement finality and other topics that impact the financial services industry. Thieke was joined by DTCC’s Jon Abel, Vice President, Product Management, Settlement and Asset Servicing Strategy; Joe Clement, Product Manager, Securities Processing; Rob Epstein, Vice President, Asset Services; Christopher Scotto, Product Management Director, Asset Services; and Kaliym Islam, Vice President, The DTCC Learning Group, each of whom spoke on various panels.
Speaking to an audience consisting of senior staff from various banks who are members of one or multiple DTCC subsidiaries, Thieke kicked off the keynote by recognizing the 40th anniversary of The Depository Trust Company (DTC) and highlighting its role in reducing costs, mitigating risk and enhancing efficiencies for the industry. Today, “as the backbone of the U.S. capital markets, DTCC is proactively developing solutions to secure today’s marketplace while shaping the future of the industry,” said Thieke.
Great strides in Corporate Actions
During his remarks, Thieke noted a pair of significant accomplishments in DTCC’s Corporate Actions business:
- Surpassing the 100 million mark in June for the number of ISO 20022 corporate actions announcement messages distributed to banks, brokerages and other financial institutions.
- Being awarded “Best Corporate Actions Data Initiative”, along with SWIFT, by Inside Reference Data magazine this summer.
An upcoming goal of DTCC’s multi-year corporate actions transformation initiative is the new browser-based user interface, which will ultimately incorporate all processing capabilities covering distribution event types in one system, including the entire corporate actions lifecycle from announcements through instructions to allocations. Clients are currently transitioning to the interface with a deadline for mandatory migration in June 2014.
Dematerialization – the elimination of all paper certificates – remains a top priority for DTCC over the next three to five years. According to Thieke, DTCC is soliciting feedback from all stakeholders, including banks, brokers/dealers, transfer agents, issuers, regulators and industry associations, for their input into how to implement full dematerialization in the most expeditious manner.
“The U.S. financial industry has made enormous progress towards dematerialization evidenced by an 86% drop in the number of physical certificates held in DTCC’s vault since the year 2000,” Thieke said. Noted benefits of dematerialization include a shortened settlement cycle in the future as well as less risk from potential loss, theft, or physical damage to the certificates that are currently held.
Intraday Settlement Finality and Shortening the Trade Settlement Cycle
While DTC achieves end-of-day settlement finality, there has been pressure from global markets and regulators to move toward increased intraday finality. This will ultimately alter the way securities transactions in equities, corporate debt and municipal debt securities are settled in the U.S. Key points touched upon in relation to promoting intraday settlement finality included reducing systemic, credit and liquidity risk.
A white paper on the topic was released by DTCC to the industry in 2012 titled “A Roadmap for Promoting Intraday Settlement Finality in U.S. Markets.”
Shortening the U.S. trade settlement cycle from its current T+3 (three business days after a trade is executed) was also a key initiative highlighted in Thieke’s address. “The move would allow the U.S. capital markets to remain competitive with other markets around the world that have already moved, or are moving to a shorter settlement cycle,” Thieke said.
Thieke also discussed DTCC’s acquisition of Omgeo, which closed in October 2013. “DTCC is taking the strengths and best practices of each organization; from the front office to the back office, as we align services and create better synergies for our clients going forward. This, of course, not only reduces cost and systemic risk, but gives us a global strategy for the future of post-trade processing.”
Currently DTCC and Omgeo are collaborating on critical initiatives, such as moving towards a shorter settlement cycle in the U.S., increasing trade affirmation on trade date and providing the industry with a utility to support standing settlement instructions.
As the keynote address concluded, Thieke noted plans to grow DTCC’s presence in the Tampa area, including hiring up to 255 employees over the next three years. “The decision to expand our operations in Tampa signals our continuing commitment to this community and represents a new chapter in DTCC history,” Thieke said.