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by Edward C. Kelleher

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DTCC Reengineering Project

The verdict is in on the prototype of the new browser-based user interface that will be implemented as part of DTCC's corporate actions reengineering initiative – and it is a thumb's up across the board.

“It's the most developed prototype of its kind that we've seen," said Cyntha Hammerel, Reorganization department manager, M&I Wealth Management. “We now have all the necessary elements for corporate actions processing on one platform, and this will make everything much easier and more efficient."

Her comments come as DTCC nears completion of almost 40 webinars in March and April on the user interface prototype, with more than 500 customers taking part in the sessions and providing valuable feedback.

Single platform

The corporate actions reengineering will upgrade and replace many of the legacy systems that currently support corporate actions announcements and processing and will create a single new platform capable of handling increasingly sophisticated types of securities, both domestic and international. The new user interface will replace the corporate action functionality for both the Participant Terminal System (PTS) and the Participant Browser Service (PBS).

“The interface, in effect, will be a unified corporate actions platform," said Patrick Kirby, DTCC managing director, Asset Services. “It will incorporate all event types – distributions, redemptions and reorgs – in one system and encompasses the entire corporate actions lifecycle, from announcements through instructions to allocations. This will replace dozens of platforms that our customers use today."

The interface will be implemented in three phases during 2012 and 2013, with a dashboard for each event type:

  • Distributions (for dividend and principal and interest payments) in March 2012
  • Redemptions in September 2012
  • Reorgs in March 2013.

Everything changes

"I'm so excited about this. It's going to change everything," said Cindy Lawrence, trust operations supervisor, The Commerce Trust Company. "With the new dashboards, everything is going to be right there in front of you. You won't have to switch back and forth between platforms or PTS functions and menu options. You can view an announcement, make your election and view your entitlements all in one location. Another nice feature with the dashboards is that you can see critical actions that you need to take up to five days out."

Lawrence, who supervises income processing, foreign income processing and corporate actions processing, said that the interface will help boost efficiencies for corporate actions. "Right now, we use a manual spreadsheet to check on corporate actions to make sure we didn't miss anything. The new interface will help us track corporate actions and provide a quality review…Can you tell I'm a fan?"

Dashboard benefits

Many customers pointed to the benefits of the dashboard. "The dashboard provides a more efficient method to manage and supervise risk," said Steven Dapcic, director, Corporate Actions at Pershing LLC. "We can quickly perform a holistic view across key processes such as announcements, elective instructions and allocations. The dashboard's drill-down and sort capabilities across these key processes will provide users with the ability to manage workflow more efficiently.

"Another great feature is the ability to create and save customized queries within the dashboard. Users can leverage these queries to view the current status of events and identify any actions required by the participant. The ability to export the data with sort capabilities is another tremendous feature as well," Dapcic added.

Hammerel pointed out that in addition to the benefits the interface brings to corporate actions, it will make training easier because it is a much more intuitive interface than PTS and PBS. She hopes to have her entire corporate action team at M&I Wealth Management attend a DTCC webinar. "They're the ones who deal with the work every day. They'll have lots of questions and suggestions."

Kirby said DTCC has received good feedback from the webinars and that DTCC would continue to solicit comments and suggestions from users as it moves forward on the interface design and implementation. @