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by Craig Donner

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National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) has launched a new automated system for broker/dealers to electronically establish, monitor and update their relationships with Qualified Special Representatives (QSR) and correspondent clearing partners. These relationships allow NSCC to ensure that a correspondent broker has authorized a QSR or Special Representative to submit locked-in equity data on its behalf.

The near-real-time system, known as the Automated Special Representative Facility, ends the decades-old broker/dealer practice of filling out and submitting paper documents, known as 9A/9B forms, to NSCC. Instead, members can now access the web-based system via the DTCC Web App Login on to manage relationships electronically.

“The new system is designed to mitigate the operational risk inherent in paper-based processes while reducing costs and enhancing efficiencies for our customers,” said Murray Pozmanter, DTCC managing director and general manager, Clearing Services. “It allows members to access their relationship information with just a few keystrokes and perform a wide range of actions in a matter of minutes.”

Web-based tools

Once logged into the system, members are taken directly to an online dashboard that provides high-level details on pending relationship requests submitted by counterparties as well as relationships waiting for approval by counterparties.

A series of tabs at the top of the dashboard allow customers to easily navigate among screens to establish new relationships and search existing ones. An upload tool is available for the bulk submission of trading relationship data using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

“We wanted to make the dashboard as intuitive as possible so users could review the most critical information on a single screen and move among functions quickly,” said William Kapogiannis, DTCC director, Equity and Fixed Income Clearing Group Product Management. “Approving a relationship is now as easy as checking your notifications and clicking a single button, and the new search capability makes researching existing relationships easier and more efficient.”

NSCC uploaded all existing relationship data into the new web-based tool prior to its launch to make the transition to the new system seamless for customers.

Customers like it

The feedback from customers has been favorable as they transition away from having to complete and file 9A/9B forms every time they establish a new relationship or modify an existing one.

“The recent implementation of the Automated Special Representative Facility has provided the clearing population with a user-friendly, online tool for managing clearing relationships with counterparties,” said Michael Ranieri, senior director, Fidelity Institutional. “The legacy process was a challenge to manage for archiving and retrieving documents, especially as roles and responsibilities change. This new system is more efficient for our business and eliminates the need for maintaining agreement paperwork.”

A key feature of the service is new functionality that allows clearing brokers to better manage their risk by designating at the executing-broker level which trades they are authorizing from each counterparty’s correspondents.

“These enhanced controls give us a greater ability to customize our relationships to protect the organization from counterparty risk,” Ranieri said. @