by Steve Letzler
The Global Corporate Action Validation Service (GCA VS), which went live in 2003, has come a long way from its origins.
GCA VS started with an idea from two firms that needed support in discovering and validating corporate actions data from around the world. Today, the service tracks corporate actions on more than 2.6 million client-reported securities in 173 countries, and handles a staggering volume of announcements yearly (see box, page 5).
The Avox Advantage
GCA VS has sales staff in London and New York who work to expand its global customer base – now with a new twist.
Caroline O’Shaughnessy, the London-based vice president of sales for DTCC Solutions, noted that DTCC’s recent acquisition of Avox Limited, a firm that provides validated information on legal entities/counterparties, makes it possible for DTCC to offer a complete suite of reference data information.
“Avox does essentially what GCA does for corporate actions, but for legal entity information,” she noted. “When you combine Avox and GCA, along with our security master file and underwriting services in the U.S., you have the makings of a powerful reference data offering that will add value for many of our customers.”
The Avox and GCA VS teams are now working with the objective of selling an entire data suite of services, according to O’Shaughnessy.
It has 43 clients, with an additional five primed to sign on in the next two months, including its first custody client, a development that could open up an entirely new base of customers as most clients to date are brokerages and buyside firms. Another eight new customers are in the pipeline.
“GCA VS gives firms corroborated ‘golden copy’ information at an extremely competitive cost,” said Chris Childs, DTCC managing director, Asset Services. He added that the service’s ability to help firms reduce cost and risk aligns with customer priorities.
Growing the franchise
GCA VS’s ability to offer a comprehensive package of global data stems from having three service centers around the world tracking corporate actions in securities: New York, Shanghai and London.
In each center, corporate actions specialists with multiple language skills use DTCC’s proprietary workflow system to research and enter corporate actions information every business day of the year except January 1, which is a global holiday.
DTCC also continually expands the coverage and capabilities offered through GCA VS. For example, later this year, it plans to add corporate actions information as it impacts derivatives. And in May, the service expanded coverage to include scheduled payments for global fixed income securities (i.e., those that were not DTC-eligible), as well as scheduled payments on structured securities held by the Federal Reserve Bank.
Service is another pillar of the GCA VS business model. “We constantly track areas that are of interest to our customers, such as timeliness and accuracy, to ensure we deliver the best possible product to our customers,” Childs said. “And when and if we see a problem, we quickly address it.”
Kurt Dodds, who recently joined DTCC as director, Product Management for Global Corporate Actions, brings an outsider’s perspective to the service. “I came to DTCC from a firm that relied on GCA VS for corporate action information, so I fully understand how important it is for our customers to have accurate and complete data, available on a timely basis from around the globe,” he said. @