Editors’ Choice Awards: Best Asset Servicing Project

Global Custodian takes a deep dive into the nominees for its Editors’ Choice awards at this year’s Leaders in Custody event, next up: the candidates up for Best Asset Servicing Project.

By Joe Parsons

BNP Paribas Securities Services- Securities Inventory Management  

In May, BNP Paribas Securities Services went live with an inventory management solution designed to automate the transfer of securities between different markets.

Using active forecast and position management technologies, BNP Paribas sought to address issues over the cross-border flow of assets and the need for collateral availability, as an increasing number of domestic assets are no longer held directly in their original market.

The service, which went live for the French, German and Italian market, ensures securities purchased by the custodian’s asset manager and asset owner clients are automatically moved at the end of every day to their domestic market.

Over the past few months, the bank has extended the scope of the product to 16 countries, including Denmark, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland.

BNP Paribas is now working on a customised solution, on top of the Securities Inventory Management tool, for its sell-side clients, enabling them to actively pool securities according to the allocation decided by their front-office.

Citi –Velocity Clarity

Citi launched its Velocity Clarity platform in June 2017, but over the past year, made a number of key enhancements for its custody and fund services clients.

Among these were new data transfer tools, a new application programming interface (API), customised reporting capabilities, and an enhanced user interface. The platform also incorporated data from its prime finance and FX businesses.

Velocity Clarity consolidates data across the custody and fund services business, as well as data from its clients and other third parties. It became key part of Citi’s offering, with 50 clients using Velocity Clarity, and it now has plans to expand the platform globally.

Over the year, it also expanded its data capture capabilities to include 40’ Act funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs).

For 2019, Citi plans to add new functionalities to the platform, including a Clarity Store enabling users to build and customise their data tools, as well as venturing into predictive analytics.

Northern Trust – Integrated Trading Solutions

“It is outsourcing on steroids.” That was how Northern Trust described the launch of Integrated Trading Solutions, its outsourcing trading service which combines their equites and fixed income capabilities with its access to global markets, trading venues and liquidity.

The move marked the latest effort by custodians to expand into the front-office; however, Northern Trust became the first to take on certain trading activities for asset managers to help meet their best execution obligations set out by MiFID II.

It now has 29 clients live on the platform, representing $100 billion in assets under management, including Mobius Capital Partners, the emerging and frontier markets fund set up by renowned investor Mark Mobius.

The aim of the service is to deliver a full front-to-back office solution, bringing in trade execution, investment book of record (IBOR), FX and custody, among other services.

The front-office had been a key strategy focus for Northern Trust last year, and had been reflected in some of its recent appointments. In September, it promoted Dan Houlihan to a newly created role as head of asset servicing for the Americas, to oversee the development of a full front-to-back-office offering to buy-side clients.

Northern Trust has also sought to integrate its front-office and middle-office capabilities through the launch of a new technology and operating model that is designed together as one.

Societe Generale Securities Services – CrossWise

Societe Generale Securities Services (SGSS) launched its combined outsourcing service called CrossWise in April last year, bringing together services for the front-, middle- and back-office.

The service, backed by technology provided by SimCorp, enables firms to outsource as many services as needed, allowing them to concentrate on their core businesses.

The focus for SGSS has been on the tier two and three asset management/broker community that are faced with constraints on operating and regulatory costs and require a one-stop-shop solution.

SGSS recorded a number of milestones for the product, including onboarding UBS La Maison de Gestion, the French subsidiary of UBS, as its first bank/broker-dealer client.

In September, it also brought German asset manager First Private Investment Management onto the platform, and is set to bring on its third client by the middle of 2019.