By Ann Marie Bria, DTCC Executive Director, Asset Services
This summer we held our first “virtual forum” for Corporate Actions, a dramatic shift from the familiar, in-person forums we’ve been accustomed to hosting. While the full-day in-person event originally scheduled for May was cancelled due to the pandemic, our team wanted to ensure we could keep our clients updated on several important initiatives and topics in the Asset Services space. It has been almost a year since we hosted a Global Corporate Actions Forum, so there were many topics and updates to cover in this 90-minute session.
Kicking off the forum, we dove right into a very timely topic for everyone – operational resiliency during COVID-19. Dealing with uncertainty is hard. However, DTCC has been both adaptable and reliable, even in the face of this pandemic. As part of our contingency plans, DTCC identified and resolved several operational resiliency obstacles related to the physical processing of securities that occurred from the pandemic. Some of the solutions included: guidelines for electronic signatures, working with agents on physical securities processing and introducing an alternative to medallion stamps.
We gave an update on one of our newest services, ClaimConnect™, which will enable clients to bilaterally manage and settle claims through a flexible, single point of entry. ClaimConnect has several benefits that will allow clients to reduce risk and errors, expedite the claim process and automate operations. During the forum, more than 80% of attendees stated they were interested in learning more about ClaimConnect, which excites us as we move closer to regulatory filing and approval in the coming months.
Additionally, we provided updates on key initiatives such as Cyber Resiliency and CA Web enhancements. Other agenda items included updates on the 2020 SWIFT Global Standards Release and upcoming legacy retirements for CCF Files and the RIPS Reorg function on the PTS/PBS client-facing portals, as well as a discussion on product enhancements.
We concluded the forum talking about Automated Instructions for Voluntary Reorg Events. This project, which was created from client feedback, has been in the works for about two years. We’re excited to move into the implementation and client testing phase, which is slated for Q4 2020. Two of our clients, Lanier Jaime, Goldman Sachs Vice President, Asset Servicing Strategy, and Steven Gale, Northern Trust Vice President, Manager IT Applications, joined to discuss the impact and expectations of this initiative. It was agreed that with the increased complexity of events, being able to reduce manual input will significantly decrease the risk and time associated with processing and submitting instructions on these events.
A special thank you to our forum attendees and speakers; we’re already looking at possible dates for another virtual forum later this year to continue updating our Corporate Actions community. To join our mailing list and receive an invitation to future events, please contact your relationship manager.