BNY Mellon – Digital asset custody platform
BNY Mellon timed its digital asset custody platform launch to perfection: announcing it during Sibos week, days before a major panel discussion on the matter, and around the time its closest rival was seeing significant personnel change within its own unit. Despite the volatility of Bitcoin at the time – and the coming scandals which would very much define the year for digital assets – BNY Mellon’s launch was met with widespread positivity and praise.
Now led by former CEO of custody services, Caroline Butler, the launch followed the establishment by BNY Mellon of a unit dedicated to building a multi-asset digital custody and administration platform in 2021 and exemplified the role that the world’s largest custodians think digital assets will play in the capital markets.
While its competitors have spent recent years setting up their digital asset custody offerings, BNY Mellon was the first of the largest custodians to take its offering live.
BNY Mellon worked with digital asset technology specialists Fireblocks and Chainalysis to integrate their technology in order to meet the present and future security and compliance needs of clients across the digital asset space.
At the time of launch, the custodian also released research which showed almost all institutional investors (91%) are interested in investing in tokenised products – further validating its launch.
JP Morgan – Fusion
In what has been a major year for JP Morgan’s securities services when it comes to innovation and product launches, in May 2022 the business announced how it was aiming to reduce the complexities associated with managing multiple data sources for its buy-side clients through the launch of a new platform delivering end-to-end data management and reporting solutions.
Named ‘Fusion by JP Morgan’, the cloud-native platform allows institutional investors to integrate and combine data from multiple sources into a single model with a view to enhance analytics and insights.
Clients have access to Fusion’s new web-based data catalogue to browse and discover data that is immediately usable and ready for consumption, using the platform’s APIs.
The initial release included unique data from JP Morgan before expanding in subsequent releases to encompass all of its clients’ own data within the same framework.
The launch came a year after the introduction of a new data solutions business which saw the addition of Bloomberg’s Gerard Francis to head up a unit that combined a number of JP Morgan’s divisions. These included its asset manager data platform, post-trade analytics offering investment information services, and extended enterprise.
The platform’s open data architecture will support “flexible distribution”, JP Morgan noted, including partnerships with cloud and data providers. The bank added that Fusion will combine position and transaction information with investors’ own data, as well as from trusted third-party vendors and partners.
State Street – AWS/Microsoft cloud
State Street kicked off the New Year in 2023 by announcing that it had signed deals with both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft to improve its cloud and infrastructure systems.
Through the partnerships, State Street is consolidating its current network of segregated data centre facilities to a more optimised system with designed and managed facilities.
The custody giant said it will leverage automation and a combination of private cloud and public cloud capabilities. State Street hopes the new model will increase resiliency, enable rapid business product innovation, and deliver enhanced customer experiences.
The existing partnership with Microsoft will be expanded for further use of its Azure platform for business applications.
State Street also plans to transition its two core North American data centres to AWS, which it hopes will enable the rapid modernisation of its IT infrastructure that a pure public cloud strategy could not address.
“Our objective is to continually enhance our client experience and technology solutions while driving efficiency and productivity across our organisation,” said Brian Franz, chief information officer of State Street Corporation. “By standardising and simplifying our technology operating model, we will be able to more quickly deploy client environments and launch new products and services, while continuing to enhance the resiliency of our technology environment and our business operations.”
SWIFT – Securities View
Of its many securities-related initiatives launched over the past 12 months, SWIFT’s Securities View makes the list here through a mix of innovation and demand for such a service.
In September 2022, SWIFT completed a pilot of the new capability designed to increase transparency in post-trade processing. The new service aims to shed light on the lack of visibility following a securities transaction.
Currently, there is no way of tracking all of the steps in the transaction across multiple intermediaries, which often leads to settlement fails that add operational costs of $3 billion a year, in addition to regulatory penalties such as those introduced by CSDR this year.
SWIFT said that Securities View will provide participants with a clearer view of their transactions, helping to identify trades at risk of failing, including wary detection of discrepancies between buy-sell instructions.
The platform will leverage an ISO-standard Unique Transaction Identifier that links messages related to the same securities flow, enabling automated tracking of both sides of the transaction by all market participants involved.
The pilot included the following market participants amongst others: ABN Amro Clearing Bank, BlackRock, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Citi (Securities Services and Global Markets), Credit Suisse, Euroclear, Euronext, HSBC, JP Morgan, Northern Trust, Optiver, Pershing and SEB.
Following the pilot, SWIFT said the new service would become available for broad adoption in 2023.