Mike Thrower
Broadridge Financial Solutions

Operational innovation is inherent in the agenda at Sibos 2016, says Mike Thrower, managing director for EMEA sales at Broadridge Financial Solutions

What are the big topics for Broadridge at Sibos 2016?

We identify strongly with the overriding theme of Sibos this year, which is Transforming the Landscape. When we surveyed 150 equity analysts covering the capital markets industry, it emerged that intensifying regulatory pressures combined with a generally adverse economic outlook mean that banks will continue to struggle to beat their cost of equity capital between now and 2020. With financial services firms facing unacceptable cost/income ratios, the industry needs to take more transformative measures to restructure and reduce costs, with more than half, 55 percent, of analysts believing that banks have not been sufficiently aggressive about process re-engineering, pointing to technology investment as a key enabler in returning to improved profitability.

What have you been up to since last year?

These are busy times, and in line with the industry’s appetite for transformation, we have continued to step up our investments in response to market demand.

Earlier this year we launched our Global Post-Trade Management (GPTM) solution, providing a single, standardised platform supporting multiple asset classes across global markets, including equity, fixed income, foreign exchange, money markets, exchange-traded derivatives and trade financing. The solution leverages new technology and a new, componentised architecture to provide clients with an integrated enterprise platform that standardises post-trade processing and operations. GPTM can be deployed as a technology service or a fully outsourced managed service, delivering operational and technological capabilities from trade capture through matching and confirmation, clearance and settlement, cash management, reconciliations, asset servicing, books and records, accounting and regulatory reporting.

With good governance now a priority for our industry and an important enabler for rebuilding trust in the investment process, we have announced an innovative and powerful platform that offers data and analytical tools for independent analysis of corporate governance and executive compensation. It expands our corporate governance solution set and offers a one-stop, interactive online corporate governance data and analytics tool, providing an independent platform for analysing governance risks, executive pay and benchmarking through a pay-for-performance screening tool, board intelligence, company financials, filings and interlocks.

We’ve also been busy onboarding firms to our matching solution—banking and corporate—who are seeking to transition from SWIFT’s Accord ahead of the October 2017 deadline. It’s important that firms have a clear transition strategy as the deadline draws closer.

This is just a cross-section among many examples that we could give. As you will have seen through our public announcements, we have also announced a number of acquisitions, plus our commitment to invest in blockchain, or distributed ledger, technology, which has the potential to be transformative for the financial services industry. Just this week, Broadridge announced the acquisition of technology to accelerate its proxy Blockchain roadmap.

How has the conference’s technology focus changed over the years?

As you would expect with such a globally significant conference, Sibos has consistently remained contemporary and aligned to the latest advancements. An important point of consideration here, though, is the model through which technology is deployed. In order to improve return on equity and transform cost income ratios, our clients are embracing new operating models based on a shared services approach, where costs can be mutualised. Businesses are looking to benefit from the network benefits and shared best practices for non-differentiating functions, using technology supplied through managed services.

Do you think that operational innovation will feature heavily on the Sibos agenda? Why?

It’s inherent in many aspects of the conference program, and it will most definitely continue to be the topic of many of our conversations throughout the week. Some delegates may seek to evolve their approach to transformation as a growth strategy; they want to build their understanding of emerging regulatory and market changes and develop a practical response. Others may also look to advance their control and risk frameworks while taking steps to transform their end-client experience. Operational change, innovation and openness to transformative technology are all fundamental to dealing with these pressing requirements.

What are you personally most looking forward to at Sibos 2016?

There are many things to look forward to—meeting clients from around the world, gathered in the same city, as well as meeting new contacts and developing our networks. But specifically Sibos presents an opportunity to listen and learn, not only from the programme itself, but also from the sizeable delegate base, so that we can hear first-hand about the important issues, challenges and drivers within the global markets.

See Broadridge’s latest technology announcement here.

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