By Edward C. Kelleher
Secretariat won the Triple Crown. The U.S. launched its first space station called Skylab. “All in the Family” was the country’s number one television show, and “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree” was the number one song. It was 1973.
An event that didn’t make the headlines in 1973, but would be momentous for Wall Street and the financial services industry, was the creation of The Depository Trust Company (DTC). Today a subsidiary of DTCC, DTC is leading the 40-year celebration of DTCC’s role as the premiere post-trade market infrastructure, helping to safeguard the stability and integrity of the financial markets.
DTC was the first answer to the “paperwork crisis” of the late 1960s when the markets were closing one day a week just to process the paperwork that came with the dramatic increase in securities trading. DTC immobilized physical stock certificates by maintaining them in a central location and using a “book-entry” accounting method to record changes of ownership. The second DTCC subsidiary, National Securities Clearing Corporation, came along just three years later with the merger of the NYSE/AMEX Stock Clearing Corporation and NASDAQ National Clearing Corporation, creating a single settlement system for the exchanges and over-the-counter equity markets. Today, DTCC has subsidiaries and joint ventures for clearing services, settlement and asset services, investment product services and data and repository services.
For forty years, DTCC, through its subsidiaries, has worked to meet the needs of the financial services industry, helping to reduce risk and boost operational efficiencies; and it will continue to drive positive change in the financial services industry in the coming years.