Reuters has confirmed the seriousness of its ambitions in the global STP arena by hiring one of the giants of the business. Chris Smith joined Reuters on Monday, as a member of the STP global marketing team led by Tony Kirby, the former executive director of the GSTPA. Smith, who will be based in London, joins from software consultancy ADR Management Limited.
But he is best known for his role as catalyser of the Electrionic Trade Confirmation (ETC) solutions which are the precursors to the STP solutions now being built. Way back in September 1991 it was Smith who invited representatives of eleven major fund managers to join him for lunch in the London boardroom of Fidelity, the US fund manager for which he then worked.
That lunch led directly to the formation of the Industry User Group (IUG) which commissioned of Thomson Financial, the London Stock Exchange and the International Securities Market Association (ISMA) and the Depository Trust Company (now the DTCC) to build cross-border ETC solutions enabling fund managers and broker-dealers to confirm trades electronically.
Indeed, Smith subsequently joined Thomson Financial, helping to market its ETCsolution in Asia. He spent eight years at Thomson between January 1993 and December 2000 working within the Electronic Settlements Group as Director of Global Strategy, Planning and Product and Marketing.
But it was the limitations of the solutions which emerged from the IUG exercise – OASYS Global (Thomson), Sequal (London Stock Exchange) and TRAX (ISMA) – which spawned interest in global STP solutions which would draw in the custodian banks as well and automate the entire transaction cycle. So by joining Reuters Smith has to some extent come full cycle himself. Among his new colleagues will be not only Kirby, but former Sequal creator Patricia Lynch.