DTCC’s Wealth Management Services (WMS) business has been evolving rapidly over the past decade. From moving quickly to e-signatures during the COVID-19 pandemic to implementing innovative, centralized data exchange methods with MF Info Xchange, Insurance Information Exchange (IIEX) and the Alternative Investment Products (AIP) platform, WMS has been guiding clients through several transformational changes.
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DTCC Connection caught up with Justin Schwartz, DTCC Executive Director of Product Management for Alternative Investment Products (AIP) and the newly appointed Executive Director of Product Management for Insurance & Retirement Services (I&RS), and Josephine Torelli, DTCC Executive Director for Mutual Fund Services, to discuss recent developments and challenges faced by the industry today.
DC: What have you seen as some of the most impactful transformations in the industry in recent years?
JS: There have been some unforeseen challenges, including Hurricane Sandy and the COVID-19 pandemic, that really ignited the industry to move towards transformation and digitization. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Insurance industry expanded the use of electronic processing along with e-signature and e-delivery in order to keep business moving forward while we were all isolated in our homes. We have supported this way of doing business for years, but the the digital transformation was huge for us because it drove companies to quickly modernize some of the persistent manual processes that were commonly used when insurance policies are purchased, delivered and serviced.
DC: DTCC has long advocated for data centralization and standardization with secure access. How is WMS guiding clients and the industry towards these practices?
JS: All of our WMS businesses offer services to support data centralization, standardization and security. WMS clients can use services like AIP and IIEX platforms to look at one place for their data and exchange that data the same consistent ways across the industry, knowing that they are mitigating risk in the process. And with IIEX being one of the newest platforms, it is intended to transform the way data is sourced, consumed and transacted while removing operational inefficiencies.
JT: Similarly to the other WMS businesses, Mutual Fund Services has several services that support data centralization and standardization best practices, like the Mutual Fund Profile Service II (MFPS II) and MF Info Xchange. Both of these platforms store data for clients and allow them to exchange that data safely and swiftly, automating existing manual efforts which reduce risk in the communication process. MF Info Xchange and MFPS II integrate well together, further reducing risk and keeping data consistent by using a single data source. Many of our clients are already leveraging these platforms and we are continuing to build out the capabilities to meet our client needs.
DC: What enhancements and innovations can clients expect to see in the coming years?
JS: One major theme taking place throughout DTCC’s WMS is enhancing the client experience. With most people becoming so accustomed to the ease of consumer-technology, we want to build that experience into the WMS platforms. This process involves revamping user interfaces, providing application programming interfaces (APIs), real-time access to data and meeting with clients to better regularly gather their feedback through roundtable events, working groups and client meetings.
JT: Another major WMS theme, specifically for the Mutual Fund Services business, is supporting the accelerated settlement T+1 effort. The implementation date was recently announced for May 28, 2024. We will automatically move all T+2 domestic securities to T+1 to avoid clients needing to take action to change their securities by the due date. We look forward to seeing how T+1 shapes the financial industry as a whole and supporting our intermediaries and funds through this transition.