GC reveals 2024 shortlist for APAC Industry Person of the Year

Representatives from BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, HSBC and TCS make the list for this year's coveted award.

By Editors

Global Custodian is pleased to reveal the four nominees who have been shortlisted for the annual Asia-Pacific Industry Person of the Year award, recognising individuals who have gone above and beyond in their role over the past 12 months.

This year marks the second annual presentation of the award, following our inaugural event in Singapore last year – which saw HSBC’s Rafael Moral Santiago take home the coveted award.

For the first time we are bringing the format we have in London and New York for the Industry Person of the Year to Asia and, holding a live vote on the evening to determine the winner from the four incredible nominees we have.

Given the many, many thousands of senior executives across the securities and fund services industry, just making the shortlist is an incredible accomplishment, so Global Custodian would like to congratulate all of this year’s nominees who are listed below in alphabetical order:

Daniel Cheever, BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is sweeping up mandates in Australia with Daniel Cheever at the helm. Having only headed up the business since September 2022 – after joining from State Street where he had worked for more than 23 years – he’s wasted no time in boosting the bank’s standing in a highly competitive market.

In September 2023, the unit was appointed by UniSuper to provide triparty collateral management services for its global trading activity. The agreement extended the existing relationship between the two which started in 2015 with global custody.

Just two months later, Global Custodian reported that BNP Paribas had captured a new custody and fund administration mandate from Australia’s Future Group following a string of acquisitions made by the pension fund.

While many of the mandate wins in the Australian market at present are stemming from firms looking for new providers following the exit of NAB Asset Servicing, the Future Group deal saw the superfund switch from a close competitor.

According to Australian publication Investor Strategy News, BNP Paribas has also “stacked a few more wins” including MLC, University of Sydney endowment, Medibank and the Dexus.

Statistics at the end of June 2023 showed that BNP Paribas had grown its assets under custody by nearly 10% to AUD$457 billion during the first six months of 2023, a pace only matched by Citi near the top of table.

The report from Investor Strategy News suggested another AUD$200 million may be added to its assets under custody in the near future as BNP Paribas looks to rise up the ranks.

Fangfang Chen, BNY Mellon

Fangfang Chen is the head of Asia Pacific at BNY Mellon, responsible for overseeing the execution of the company’s strategic growth agenda in Asia Pacific and and growing the most significant enterprise client portfolio in the region.

Celebrating 240 years as a global financial services firm, the past year has seen a string of developments for BNY Mellon’s business in the region under Chen’s leadership, including examples of innovation, product launches, personnel appointments and facilitation of market access to China.

In February 2024, BNY Mellon rolled out a new tax service for US issuers to more easily access the Hong Kong and mainland China markets. Developed in collaboration with the Central Moneymarkets Unit (CMU) of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the service was designed to enable US issuers to gain access to a wider pool of liquidity and benefit from lower funding costs in Hong Kong and mainland China, while complying with US tax withholding requirements on US source income paid to foreign persons and entities.

Speaking at the time, Chen said: “We are delighted to collaborate with the CMU to deliver this unique solution. As investor demand for RMB-denominated opportunities continues to expand globally, this service resolved a key hurdle for US issuers seeking to benefit from the new Bond Connect scheme between Hong Kong and mainland China. Our work with the CMU also underscores our shared commitment to enhance global capital markets connectivity.”

BNY Mellon has played a key role in developments in Mainland China, market advocacy and facilitating access. After milestones such as becoming the first triparty agent to provide collateral services to support Stock Connect and Bond Connect assets, 2023 and 2024 emerged as significant years for BNY Mellon. Firstly, BNY Mellon offered margin payments and withdrawals for commodity futures, options and stock index options in China. BNY Mellon also enabled foreign investors to participate in private placement notes in China Interbank Bond Market, and subscription and redemption of private investment funds. 

BNY Mellon’s Treasury Services team in collaboration with OCBC have successfully launched a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) on instant cross-border FX payments powered by two separate private blockchains. This pioneering capability could help support faster, smarter and safer cross-border FX payments.

Chen is also a member of the board of Chunhui Children’s Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to bringing professional care to orphaned, left-behind and marginalised children in China. 

Suvir Loomba, HSBC

HSBC is synonymous with securities services in Asia and in 2023 its business head for the region was handed this very Industry Person of the Year award. Throughout the past 12 months, the plaudits and work across the region has now slowed down, and this year it is global head of country management, securities services, Suvir Loomba who makes the shortlist.

Loomba has over 20 years of leadership experience in the financial services industry and serves on the Board of various industry and HSBC organisations that allow him to stay connected with the industry, including market participants and regulatory authorities.

Among these are digital proxy voting outfit Proxymity and the International Securities Services Association (ISSA).

HSBC has stood out once again in Asia this year through its approach to innovation and custody services earning seven nominations on our shortlists. Perhaps most notably, the bank was listed as a nominee for the Best Agent Bank Overall category for Major and Frontier Markets. In addition, its digital asset platform Orion, is earning praise throughout the industry and is emerging as one of the most active and innovative initiatives in the securities industry.

Loomba is also an avid contributor in market development as a member of the Association of Global Custodians, driving initiatives such as T+1 settlement cycles, digital asset technologies and regulatory regimes. He maintains regular dialogue with International Central Securities Depositories and Central Securities Depositories.

Loomba is an active participant and speakers at market symposia and conferences includes Fintech festivals, MPF symposiums and other HSBC’s events. He is a champion in talent development and leads initiatives for HSBC staff internally as well as across the industry.

Vivekanand Ramgopal, TCS

When we were assessing the new technology developments over the past 12 months one name kept coming up again and again – TCS. Among a swathe of partnerships and work with key players from the securities services industry: SIX, Euroclear, Standard Bank and JP Morgan, one of the big stories of the year was ASX deciding to replace cash equities clearing and settlement platform with Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) platform.

ASX will implement TCS’ flagship product, TCS BaNCS for Market Infrastructure, set to be implemented in two releases – first the clearing service, followed by the settlement depository and sub‐register services.

Vivekanand Ramgopal, president, BFSI products and platforms at TCS, said at the time: “Our selection is an affirmation of our track record in this mission-critical business, continuous investments in our products, and shared vision of how we see the future of Market Infrastructure Institutions in a technology-led world. TCS BaNCS for Market Infrastructure continues to gain traction in the global market with its rich functionality and unique multi-asset class capability across the post-trade value chain.

“Combined with our fit-for-purpose approach to technology and innovation, this gives us the confidence to deliver a robust future-proof solution stack for the Australian market.”

Ramgopal has spent 30 years with TCS, starting with the Smithsonian award-winning project for the SIX Group, Switzerland, he has played a key role in mission critical implementations in over 25 countries globally. In his previous role, he was responsible for product development and delivery of the Capital Markets solutions under the TCS BaNCS brand.

He also led the conceptualisation and growth of the TCS BaNCS for Market Infrastructure solution, with showcase implementations such as LCH, Euroclear and Strate (South Africa). His experience includes leadership of TCS BaNCS implementations that have been catalytic in driving market reform in high growth markets such as Russia, Brazil, India, Hungary, New Zealand, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Nigeria, Morocco, Bangladesh and the Philippines.