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On the Ground in Asia: DTCC's Shanghai Office

Corporate actions can be notoriously difficult to manage,” remarked Peter Gleeson, DTCC Managing Director, Asset Services. “You need to find the right people, give them extensive training and keep them in the company.”

Today, the Shanghai office, managed by DTCC Director Catherine Deng, has that team in place.

Benefits galore

DTCC now provides 24-hour service for the Global Corporate Action Validation Service (GCA VS), which means faster turnaround for processing non-Asian announcements and speedier validation for corporate actions published in Asia.

GCA VS also derives considerable value from having staff on the ground who speak the local languages and have local contacts.

“Our Asian clients like knowing they can call us up in their own time zones and communicate with someone in their own language if they have a question or a problem,” said Deng, noting that people in the office speak languages including Mandarin, various Mandarin dialects, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Spanish and English. “There’s less of a chance for misunderstanding, and problems are resolved faster.”

On the flipside, GCA VS can call up issuers in, say Japan, in the local time zone and converse in Japanese to get the information necessary to validate an announcement, which leads to more quickly identified sources and more accurate information. That’s especially key since the Asian markets are in different stages of development with their own methods for announcing information, which can make getting correct and complete information a challenge.

To maintain robust communication with its clients, the Shanghai office holds a monthly Asia working group meeting at which GCA VS clients can meet with DTCC staff to discuss corporate action validation issues focused on the Asia region.

Database of nuances

It helps that since it began, GCA VS has been meticulously documenting how to process every event in every country. “A cash dividend is the simplest event there is, but the way it is set up, created and validated can vary from market to market, especially in Asia,” said Gleeson. Over the years, GCA VS’s IOPs (Internal Operation Procedures) have grown into a substantial database consisting of hundreds of documents, organized by event type and market. “We update and enrich it regularly,” said Deng. “It’s been a massive undertaking.”

Aside from helping the GCA VS teams understand the nuances of the more challenging Asian markets, the IOP database is a key component of the service’s overall business continuity plan. “If the Shanghai office is unavailable for any reason and another team has to work on an Asian-based issue, the IOP database gives step-by-step procedures that anyone in any of our locations can follow to validate that corporate action,” Gleeson said.