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by Roland Kielman

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Wrapping Up a Busy Year

DTCC hosted a full-day briefing for 21 staff members from the House Financial Services Committee in November, as part of its broad effort to increase engagement with policymakers on Capitol Hill.

The goal was to raise awareness of DTCC’s role in the U.S. financial markets among Congressional staffers and provide an overview of DTCC’s capabilities serving global financial markets across multiple asset classes.

A bipartisan group attended the briefing, including high-ranking committee staffers and legislative assistants, legislative directors and chiefs of staff for members of Congress serving on the committee. The House Financial Services Committee is the primary committee in Congress responsible for oversight of the financial industry and its regulators, including implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Walter Lukken, CEO of NYPC, briefs congressional staff on NYPC

Comprehensive agenda

The day began with an overview of DTCC by Larry Thompson, DTCC managing director and general counsel. Noting that the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market is generally the focal point of DTCC’s dialogue with federal lawmakers, Thompson said the company’s core business functions, and its history, ultimately tell the most compelling story.

“It is essential that policymakers know where we came from and how we have evolved as an organization,” Thompson said. He emphasized DTCC’s unique role at the center of the financial system and its 40 years of experience.

Dan Cohen, DTCC managing director of Government Relations, gave an update on key developments in financial regulatory reform occurring in the U.S., E.U. and Asia.

Presentations on DTCC’s core business lines followed, giving the attendees a comprehensive overview of the company’s role in the markets for equities, fixed income, wealth management and insurance and retirement services. The group also received a live demonstration of DTCC’s Trade Information Warehouse and regulator portal for OTC derivatives.

Additional speakers included Walter Lukken, CEO of NYPC, DTCC’s joint venture with NYSE Euronext, who described the efficiencies provided by NYPC’s innovative one-pot margining solution. A session on the global legal entity identifier (LEI) solution was conducted by Karla McKenna of the International Organization for Standardization, Malene McMahon of SWIFT and Ron Jordan, DTCC’s chief data officer, representing the three organizations that are collaborating on this initiative.

“I know from the times I’ve been on Capitol Hill for meetings that these individuals are extremely busy and often don’t have the time for a broader discussion about DTCC’s capabilities,” said Murray Pozmanter, DTCC managing director and general manager, Clearing Services. “It was a tremendous opportunity to meet with them in a more relaxed setting to talk about our capabilities and answer their questions about the different asset classes.”

The day concluded with a trip to the New York Stock Exchange for a briefing on global market structure and a viewing of the closing bell.

Positive response

DTCC conducted a follow-up survey to assess the group’s perceptions of the event. Feedback was positive overall, and many attendees touched base in the days following the event to express their appreciation.

“Thanks for putting together such a great and informative trip,” wrote one Congressional staff member. “I really appreciated the time and attention the staff of DTCC, NYPC and the NYSE gave our group. I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.”

DTCC plans to host briefings for other congressional committees – including the Senate Banking Committee and the House and Senate Agriculture Committees – in 2012. @