Contributing to the Client Experience: Meet Jessica U.
Jessica U. GOCS Corporate Actions Senior Team Lead.
Building a fair and stable market for financial transactions is the primary responsibility of an underwriter – an extremely critical role that operates mostly behind the scenes and out of the view of clients.
Jessica U. works in Global Operations and Client Services (GOCS) in Jersey City. Most recently, she and her team were responsible for making sure that securities for depository services meet the high standards we’ve set for eligibility, minimizing risks to the industry and the investing public through rigorous checks on the data submitted by clients.
It’s a meticulous job that requires extreme attention to detail, because any mistake could impact the clients and its participants. Jessica takes great pride knowing that she’s playing such an important role in helping firms gain entry to the public markets while also protecting our clients from risk, which ultimately helps create a safer marketplace for the general investor community.
Ed. note: In September, Jessica transitioned to a new role as GOCS Corporate Actions Senior Team Lead.
How does your role impact the client experience?
JU: The Underwriting Group is the entry point for depository and book-entry transfer services at The Depository Trust Company (DTC). Those services are designed to achieve efficiencies in the U.S. capital markets and reduce risks to participants by automating and facilitating the distribution and settlement of new and secondary issues. We deal with clients both internally and externally across a range of interactions. External clients can be different underwriters, banks and transfer agents.
One of the most important things that we do is we make securities freely tradable and fungible and otherwise qualified to be held at DTC and traded and serviced through DTC’s electronic book-entry system. As part of the eligibility process, on settlement date, closing calls come in and to make sure everything goes smoothly, Underwriting has all the appropriate parties – underwriters, paying agents, bond council – on the call. By doing so, we enhance capital market efficiencies and reduce risk for our clients.
What do you think is the most important priority for our clients?
JU: Building a fair and stable market for financial transactions is the primary responsibility of an underwriter – an extremely critical role that operates mostly behind the scenes and out of the view of clients.
Can you explain how this engagement has positively impacted one of our clients?
JU: Every week, we have clients calling, asking for guidance on eligibility issues. Clients input needed information into the UW Source application (Underwriting Department's Online New Issue Eligibility Request System) and we use that for assessing eligibility of their securities.
I recall an incident with a bank, where an issue closed with the incorrect amount. We analyzed the situation to assess how to minimize any exposure and risk to our client, and how we could take care of this accurately and efficiently.
With management’s approval, our team worked tirelessly with the client to pull back the position and resubmit the offering under the correct amount, making it possible for the client to close the issue successfully. With the assistance of other departments, we went above and beyond expectations to meet this client’s needs. Thankfully, we were able to get this resolved by the following day, despite being informed of the error late the previous day.
How does DTCC’s culture enable this success?
JU: In addition to clear communication, collaboration across different departments is needed to meet and exceed the expectations of our clients. I encourage my team to provide the kind of service we want to receive – and to always keep our client’s needs in mind.
How does DTCC’s environment enable you to be successful in your career?
JU: I was part of the pipeline program in 2015, a program that has helped me build relationships with colleagues outside of my department. This whole network that was made available to me helped me gain exposure and knowledge as I build my career at DTCC. DTCC’s culture of collaboration and knowledge-sharing with leaders and colleagues is very helpful for employees like me at the start of our careers.
Tell us about your new role.
JU: I provide oversight and management of a team of Reorg Associates that perform all functions associated with the announcement and processing of Voluntary Reorganization events and handle exception processing as appropriate within guidelines defined by the management team.
What is DTC’s Corporate Actions Processing Service for Reorganizations?
JU: This service provides full lifecycle processing, including sourcing and announcing the details of upcoming events, accepting and acting on instructions and collecting, allocating and reporting on the resulting entitlements. The Reorganizations service includes the announcement and processing of events such as conversions, rights and warrant exercises, and other events arising from the servicing of the securities eligible at the depository.
Any last thoughts about your former role?
JU: What I will miss the most is getting to work with such an outstanding group of individuals. The people made it a pleasure it come into work every day and tackle any problem that laid ahead. I was able to build trust worthy, genuine relationships with the people I worked with both on a professional and personal level.
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