by Steve Letzler
DTCC's Global Corporate Actions Validation Service (GCA VS) will begin pilot testing a new browser on April 25, in preparation for implementation with all GCA VS customers in late June.
The browser will incorporate new data layouts on many pages, along with several more significant enhancements to the browser functions. For example, the new home page will provide an overview of the "securities of interest" for each client, broken down by event groups (i.e., redemptions, distributions, etc.), and whether those securities are DTC-eligible, replacing a listing of the latest processing times. (The processing times will still be available by clicking a button on the home page.) Many of the enhancements are being made as a result of customer suggestions.
"The enhancements we have made to the browser service will make GCA VS more user-friendly for GCA VS clients," said Chris Childs, managing director, Asset Services. "We've listened closely to our customers, and made many of the changes they said would make the browser more useful to them. And in the process, the same browser will also be made available for DTC customers as we begin to introduce the first elements of a redesigned corporate actions platform for them."
The changeover to the new browser service will be mandatory for all 50 firms that are currently clients of GCA VS. To help customer firms become fully acquainted with all the changes and enhancements to the new browser, DTCC is planning a series of webinars expected to begin at the end of March and extend through April. Firms that wish to participate in one of the webinars can obtain information by contacting their Relationship Manager or by visiting DTCC's web site at www.dtcc.com/gca. Information will be sent to all clients once dates and times are set.
Changes will also be occurring in the files that flow from DTCC to its customers' mainframe computers, according to Kurt Dodds, DTCC director, Global Corporate Actions.
"We will be adopting the same terminology for DTC-eligible securities that will be used for processing at DTC," he said. "As a result, some event types will be reclassified and all data model changes will be communicated shortly to our customers. For that reason, we are recommending that GCA VS firms sign up for user acceptance tests (UATs) that will be going on simultaneously with our pilot test for the browser. That will help firms get used to the changes that they will see as a result of our processing changes, even though GCA VS firms aren't necessarily going to be affected by processing changes unless they are also DTC members."
Dodds noted that DTCC was finalizing a presentation that provided an overview of all browser changes, and he said that would be distributed either at the webinars or in group meetings with customers in March and April.
ISO 20022 pilot
GCA VS members are also eligible to begin participation in DTCC's ISO 20022 pilot test.
The service will be moving from its current DTCC proprietary format and standard ISO 15022 message format to the ISO 20022 message format by 2015. At that time, all GCA VS clients will need to convert their systems to accept the ISO 20022 format since the prior formats will be eliminated.
Firms can make the transition any time between June 2011 and 2015, but a period of testing will be required before switching over, according to Dodds. The ISO 20022 pilot test will also begin in April and be available for immediate implementation beginning in June 2011. @