Latest articles from Frances Maguire

The right model at the right time

January 3, 2005

Having the right custody model in place entails being prepared to embrace change quickly. This year, it will be critical for banks to get tough on standardising in areas where they have strived to add value, says Frances Maguire.
Custody, and its related services, has now become synonymous with large lift-out deals in which the custodian banks take over the systems and staff of fund managers’ back offices and run them. However, new research into the securities services sector argues strongly that the lift-out model is flawed and unsustainable, and that unless the custodian banks react quickly, they are leaving themselves open to selective cherry-picking by prime brokers and other specialists.

Not all lift-outs are equal

November 4, 2004

A swathe of outsourcing deals has seen global custodians moving into the middle offices of investment managers – and even edging towards the front offices. However, Frances Maguire finds that the global custodians are not taking their own advice on outsourcing.
The custody market has already undergone a great deal of consolidation. Several Tier 1 banks have sold up their custody arms to one of the banks that now make up the top five largest global custodians, as custody was deemed a product offering that needed both scale and to be part of a wider business relationship to be profitable (see news story on Citigroup’s purchase of ABN Amro’s custody operation).

A clearer path to settlement

October 4, 2004

Europe’s mutual fund industry is costly and inefficient for fund distributors. Frances Maguire looks at how one new fund processing platform aims to improve automation and cut costs.

Back to basics

October 4, 2004

While the SEC ponders the industry’s response to its consultation paper on shorter settlement times, market players are keen to get straight-through processing right first. Frances Maguire reports.

A Swift solution

October 4, 2004

Leonard H Schrank, CEO of Swift, talks to Frances Maguire about the challenges that lie ahead for his company and its member banks in growing business.

Dancing on both sides of the ballroom

September 2, 2004

Frances Maguire profiles JPMorgan Chase’s ITS division. Newly renamed and empowered in 2001, it is set to grow organically and inorganically. Peter Lighte, head of Europe and Asia, believes that “being joined at the hip to the investment banking sector” is the secret of success

Can the securities industry find harmony on corporate action?

August 2, 2004

Recent research has shown that failure to interpret corporate action information is costing the securities industry billions of euros a year. Frances Maguire reports on efforts to build a consensus on how the information is presented.

Are ICSDs too close for comfort?

June 2, 2004

While the consultation continues on how the EU might achieve a harmonised infrastructure for cross-border transactions, Frances Maguire finds that another highly charged debate is going on: should ICSDs and CSDs compete with global custodian and agent banks?
When is a bank, not a bank? When it’s an international central securities depository (ICSD). At present, both Europe’s ICSDs, Euroclear and Clearstream, are banks, and despite moves by Euroclear to restructure its banking and its depositories into separate entities, and the European Commission’s accusation that Clearstream is abusing its “dominant supplier position”, the fact still remains that both ICSDs offer “bank accounts” to their securities customers that do not pay interest.

When the price is right

May 3, 2004

The growing acceptance of short selling has led to attempts to automate the bilateral, voice-based securities lending business, but as Frances Maguire finds, an alternative trading system has appeared that could bring greater transparency to securities lending.

Consolidation savings still remain a dream

April 5, 2004

Much has been said about the need for greater consolidation in the securities industry, especially to bring together the fragmented clearing and settlement infrastructure in Europe but, as Frances Maguire finds, consolidation is not always what it is cracked up to be.

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