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by Edward C. Kelleher

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DTCC advanced its multi-year initiative to reengineer corporate actions processing with the release of new ISO 20022 distribution processing message specifications and schemas extensions. With this release, the culmination of three years’ of collaboration with customers and the industry, firms now have access to the full suite of corporate action message specifications in the ISO 20022 format.

These messages will become the core automated building blocks of the reengineering project that will fully automate corporate action processing in the U.S. The reengineering is replacing the more than 60 legacy systems that currently support corporate actions processing with a single platform.

Lifecycle coverage

Once implemented, the new distribution messages will support the processing of the entire lifecycle of a corporate action, including entitlements, elections and settlements. The message extensions give DTCC users additional data fields specific to corporate actions processing at DTCC, but as part of the new ISO 20022 standard.

During the first phase of the migration to the new platform, the company implemented the new ISO 20022 corporate action announcement messages in November 2011. (Documentation is posted on DTCC’s website

“The distribution processing specifications have been extensively vetted with customers and industry groups over the last three years and their input helped us determine which data elements were needed for the extensions,” said Susan Cosgrove, DTCC Managing Director and General Manager, Settlement and Asset Services. “With both announcement and distribution message specifications now in place, we can prepare for our pilot on distribution processing messages later this year and begin onboarding customers for announcements.”

September pilot

The distribution processing pilot will launch in the fourth quarter of 2012 and run through November 2013.

“We need a lengthy pilot because distribution processing messages require extensive testing. Elections and instructions are much more complicated than announcement messages, which are generic messages transmitted to all customers,” said Cosgrove. “With distributions, each customer will have unique messages based on information such as position holdings.” Distributions processing includes 11 message types, whereas announcements include basically two message types.

In addition to working with its customers, DTCC developed the new messaging documentation in collaboration with SWIFT, a global provider of secure financial messaging services and the ISO 20022 (International Organization for Standardization) Registration Authority. @