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DTCC Executives Speak on Key Issues at Sibos GenevaThe Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) was well-represented at Sibos 2016 in Geneva, September 26-29, with DTCC executives speaking on four key panels that explored the shifting nature of the global financial market.

This year’s conference theme, “Transforming the Landscape,” gave DTCC executives the opportunity to share their expertise on cyber security, emerging technologies and data standardization with other industry leaders from around the world, as well as the challenges facing the financial industry.

Financial services firms are under tremendous pressure to reduce costs, and they view technology – particularly emerging technology, such as distributed ledgers – as a potential solution to operate more efficiently while meeting new regulatory mandates.

Robust Agenda: Cyber Security Prominent

The conference featured a robust and diverse agenda, with the main topics of discussion centering on innovation, disruptive technologies, financial stability and cultural shifts. Cyber-security was a prominent theme, with a focus on helping the finance industry counter the growing threat of cyber attacks.

The conference delivered a large contingent of attendees from banking, brokerage, the buy-side and financial market infrastructures, as well as technology firms. Sibos attracted 8,500 business leaders, decision makers and thought leaders from the financial industry to this year’s four-day conference. It featured 230 conference sessions and 195 exhibitors. The conference is organized by SWIFT, the global provider of secure financial messaging to more than 10,000 institutions.

Sibos, which began as a seminar, has grown into one of the premier financial conferences in the world. It provides an important venue for debate, networking and collaboration throughout the industry.

DTCC’s Central Hub

The DTCC exhibition booth served as a hub of activity for attendees to learn more about DTCC and its products and services. DTCC executives held dozens of meetings with key industry participants and shared insights and thought leadership with the media, serving as experts on a variety of issues and topics, resulting in strong news coverage.

“Sibos is a must-attend event for DTCC,” said Dan Thieke, DTCC Managing Director, General Manager, Settlement and Asset Services. “It offers a great opportunity to network and share ideas with thought leaders in the industry and to discuss global issues affecting the post-trade process and financial market infrastructures.”

Among the questions raised in Geneva were: As banks and fintech firms work together more frequently, are they competitors or collaborators, or both? Another key topic was how can banks be more efficient in their use of capital and the way in which they run their operations? To be sure, many of the answers revolved around technology and industry collaboration.

Overview: DTCC Executives Delivering Thought Leadership at Sibos

Cyber-Resilience in a Changing World

Stephen Scharf, DTCC Managing Director and Chief Security Officer, joined with other industry experts to discuss the evolution of cyber threats for financial institutions, highlighting recent findings, and offer insight into supporting an effective cyber resilience strategy for the financial market infrastructure.

“The financial industry executing a number of different activities to combat cyber threats,” Scharf said. “However, this is not the kind of work that has an end-state. It’s in a perpetual state of improving, financing and countering cyber threats. This level of effort will have to be maintained as cyber threats continue to evolve.”

Standards SATNAV: Roadmaps through the Global Landscape

Dan Thieke, DTCC Managing Director, General Manager, Settlement and Asset Services, joined fellow panelists in presenting his views on standards-related initiatives. The panel focused largely on the adoption of ISO 20022 standards by market infrastructures in the financial services industry.

“DTCC has been implementing these standards for our corporate actions business for some time now, as part of a larger transformation effort,” Thieke said. “We’ve been leveraging the ISO 20022 standard, which keeps us aligned with market practices. It also aids our clients in gaining efficiencies by enabling them to receive information in a more structured and automated fashion.”

Innovation in the CSD Space: What About Distributed Ledger Technologies?

Rob Palatnick, DTCC Managing Director and Chief Technology Architect, and a panel of fellow experts shared their views on how distributed ledger technology (DLT) could be used to enhance central securities depositories (CSDs).

“Distributed ledger technology creates a shared database that has security built in, which updates in real-time and provides access only to parties essential to the transaction,” Palatnick said. “It will simplify technologies that exist today by using a common database, common business rules and common data schema, enabling the industry to eliminate layers of data, business logic and code. That doesn’t mean it’s going replace all aspects of current financial industry technology. Every transaction is different and will be settled according to its business case.”

Standards Forum: Reference Data and Semantics

Mark Davies, Managing Director, DTCC Europe and General Manager, Avox Data Services, discussed the problem of semantic data standards in the Internet of Things, a close parallel to the array of different dictionaries around the world. Additionally, panelists discussed the ongoing evolution of reference data and its many moving parts.

“The evolving nature of the financial industry is the new normal, and our clients know this,” Davies said. “With each new regulation, there are additional data points that need to be captured and sorted. There are ongoing interpretation and maintenance challenges of each of those data points. Firms are increasingly well structured to cope with the requirements for each new regulation. Since all firms are facing the same challenges, we’re starting to see a trend toward collaboration—organizations are more willing to share the burden, share interpretation work, share information, and certainly share the costs of maintaining this content.”

In addition to the DTCC executives who spoke on panels, delegates from DTCC included Mark Wetjen, Managing Director, Head of Global Public Policy; Dan Cohen, Executive Director, Relationship Management, EMEA; Lilia Tira, Executive Director, DTCC Euroclear Global Collateral; and Tony Freeman, Executive Director, Industry Relations.