Since the start of the initiative, DTCC has worked to educate clients on the need to eliminate reclaim risk and the importance of promoting intraday finality. In return, the industry actively provided DTCC with feedback on the effects that Settlement Matching introduces to their settlement process. Clients soon realized that Settlement Matching provided them with a proactive approach to resolution of discrepancies between deliverer and receiver by allowing the receiver to approve the transaction attributes prior to settlement. With this process, clients can correct issues intraday rather than on a next-day basis. Settlement represents a key step in the post-trade lifecycle, and we’re pleased with the progress we’ve made as an industry in significantly lowering risk in the overall settlement process.
This multi-year redesign aims to improve the core settlement processing displays and provide increased monitoring tools and transaction update capabilities. When completed, Settlement Web will give users a more modernized, more cohesive and user- friendly experience. To date, about 92% of all of the new functionality is available on Settlement Web.
At the heart of DTCC’s effort to mitigate risk and foster innovation in the global capital markets is a strong focus on delivering consistently superior service to our clients worldwide. Timothy Keady, Managing Director and Chief Client Officer at DTCC, discusses how the firm is partnering with clients to navigate the challenges of a complex regulatory and economic environment and capitalize on new opportunities to support market participants during this period of transformation.
2014 was a year of evolution for both DTCC and the industry. How did this affect the organization’s approach to client outreach and engagement?
It had a major impact, especially with Omgeo’s integration into DTCC’s family of services now complete. At every level of the organization, we’re deeply committed to client engagement. We actively listen to clients to better understand their needs; we operate as partners to help address their challenges; and we strive to deliver an unparalleled level of quality service. Underpinning this effort are the steps we took in 2014 to unify our sales, partners and relationship teams across all locations worldwide. Today, client support is aligned along three pillars: Core Services, Data and Derivatives. This structure allows us to reinforce world-class client satisfaction, further enhance how we meet the evolving needs of the industry and deliver a more consistent and superior client experience.
How does this alignment strengthen DTCC’s support of its global client base?
Our new structure allows us to leverage the unified teams’ collective expertise and strengths in support of the top strategic initiatives across each of DTCC’s business lines. This structure promotes closer collaboration with all of our clients and a more seamless approach to the high-quality services we work to provide each of them on a daily basis.
You mentioned collaboration and partnership with clients. How is this translating into DTCC developing innovative products and services to meet new challenges facing the industry?
It’s critical. One of DTCC’s top priorities is putting client needs first. It is the foundation of all our efforts, and it helps shape the strategic direction of the organization. For us, listening to our clients is essential to meeting our business goals and objectives. If you look at some of the newest services we’ve brought to market, such as the Global Trade Repository, Clarient and the Global Markets Entity Identifier (GMEI) utility, they were, in part, born out of conversations we had with our global client base. The same applies to enhancements we’ve made in our core clearing, settlement and asset services products.
How do you see to it that the input you receive reflects the broad and diverse range of clients served by DTCC?
No doubt that’s a challenge. DTCC clients span the entire spectrum of financial services, from major global banks to small broker-dealers, from insurance companies, mutual funds and hedge funds to custodians and corporate securities issuers. In 2014, we set out to encourage greater engagement and dialogue from this broad client universe. As one example, we established the DTCC Regional Council to gain input and feedback from smaller firms. The Council gives us a different perspective on issues and allows us to take the insights of these smaller firms into account as we pursue various initiatives. We’re very pleased with the strong level of engagement we’ve had with this group and the viewpoints they’ve shared on critical industry issues like shortening the U.S. settlement cycle, risk management and membership standards for our NSCC subsidiary.
Can you give another example of a recent initiative in which DTCC worked closely with clients to build or enhance the capabilities of a service?
There are a number of examples I could cite, but I believe our engagement on the Corporate Actions Transformation initiative reflects this increased level of collaboration and partnership. This initiative will dramatically change how corporate action information gets communicated to the marketplace. It’s a major shift for the industry, and our relationship managers, along with our product managers and DTCC Learning, executed an aggressive outreach campaign to explain the changes that are coming and build consensus around critical milestones.
Our outreach included working with over 260 client firms, comprising more than 4,700 users, to discuss the changes and provide parallel testing during the various phases of implementation. Throughout this process, we collected client feedback and made revisions and modifications, including building out a new dashboard with easily accessible details on important, time-sensitive corporate action data.
As you look to 2015, what would you identify as the leading client engagement priority for DTCC?
As we solidify DTCC’s global footprint, we’re exploring several new approaches for supporting our client base, both by integrating state-of-the-art automated applications that effectively respond to client requests and by strengthening our team’s collaboration with market participants through more open dialogue and interaction. Asking the right questions and soliciting answers is key. We look forward to rolling out new initiatives throughout 2015 as part of our broader effort to serve as a trusted partner and advisor to our clients.