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Chris Kentouris

Clarity Matters

July 23, 2012

The new SWAPS definitions lack clarity in a number of areas. This could actually pose a big problem for some market participants.

If PIIGS Fly, in 2012

December 22, 2011

You have to start asking yourself: How do I prepare for the possibility that Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece or Spain could return to their own currency, from the Euro?

Wanna Party in London? Fill Out the Paperwork

December 14, 2011

A Christmas gift or even attending a party just might be considered taking a bribe.

Suspense Accounts Could Be Killers

December 9, 2011

Lessons taught by the case of a rogue operations executive who worked at Morgan Stanley.

Cloud Checklist

December 2, 2011

The “cloud” may sound like a pretty amorphous computing term for asset managers. But the recent recession, market volatility and regulatory requirements have made it pretty real. Here's a checklist for getting started.

European Union? Tower of Babel

November 25, 2011

The European Commission wants securities depositories to fine member firms which fail to settle trades on time. That won't be easy.

Solving Solvency II

November 18, 2011

Soon, asset managers overseeing pension plans and investment funds of insurance companies will have to comply with stringent requirements on how they value securities they hold and their investment risk.

Bad Employee or Bad Controls?

November 11, 2011

Lessons from Computershare's pursuit of a former risk analyst and her company laptop.

FATCA Compliance: The Deep Dive

November 4, 2011

Here is a ten-step timetable of what to accomplish, when and by whom to avoid getting entangled in the Foreign Tax Compliance Act.

What It's Worth

October 28, 2011

Custodian banks think they should be charged less for "low value" data, than high. What a concept.

Cost-Basis Reporting: Know Thyself

October 21, 2011

Self assessment can be tough. Now comes cost-basis reporting. Here's how to inspect yourself.

Cost-Basis Reporting: Know Thyself

October 21, 2011

Self assessment can be tough. Now comes cost-basis reporting. Here's how to inspect yourself.

Taking Control of Swap Contracts

October 14, 2011

Why it would be easy for a "rogue" employee to take control of a payment for a swaps contract.

Registration Countdown: 10 Days to Go

October 7, 2011

It's time to notify FINRA who you will register as an ops professional.

What We Have Here is Failure to Confirm

September 30, 2011

Exchange-traded funds were not at fault in UBS’ $2.3 billion loss from unauthorized trades. The failure to confirm that there were counterparties to the trades was.

Global Identifiers: What SIBOS2011 Revealed and Didn't

September 22, 2011

There are still a lot of unanswered questions, as the system for identifying entities worldwide moves ahead with rapidity.

Global Entity Identifier: What to Ask At SIBOS 2011

September 16, 2011

SWIFT has dedicated several panels to the legal entity ID at its SIBOS conference next week. We asked a dozen data management and operations experts what they were hoping to hear.

What to Ask BNY Mellon

September 9, 2011

Here are six questions which fund managers and fund boards should be prepared to ask the world's largest custodian bank after its sudden switch in chief executives.

Risk Measurement Gets Real. And Fast.

September 2, 2011

Measuring risk is getting serious. And happening in real time. There’s no turning back.

Taking Action on Corporate Actions

August 24, 2011

Pulling together information on corporate actions is not easy.

Fail to Settle on Time? Fine

August 15, 2011

Traders in U.S agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities soon won't be able to get away with failing to settle their transactions on time.

Downgrade Fallout

August 8, 2011

Operations executives will be awash in the ripple effect of Standard & Poor's decision to drop the triple A rating of U.S. government debt a notch, to AA-plus.

Reporting Misdeeds Gets Tougher

July 27, 2011

Complying with the new FINRA benchmarks on violations of broker-dealer rules won’t be easy.

Getting Tough in U.K.

July 20, 2011

The United Kingdom will soon have a tougher and bolder regulator responsible for monitoring fund managers, broker dealers and banks. Its name? The Financial Conduct Authority.

Striking Out on Values

July 13, 2011

If you don't document how you value complex securities, you will face the music now. From the SEC.

Outsourcing Ops, Broker Style

July 6, 2011

Five ways brokers can control costs and get predictable operating procedures.

How to Catch a Thief, UK Style

June 27, 2011

Preventing money-laundering activities is one of the key regulatory responsibilities of banks and broker-dealers. They are supposed to know just who they are doing business with and where their money is coming from.

Yet not all are up to snuff. Too many in the City of London just don't have sufficient operational procedures in place so they are allowing high risk customers to pass under the radar. …

European ETFs: Pretty Unsettling

June 21, 2011

Unlike most European equities, European ETFs are listed in multiple markets -- up to five. And unlike in the U.S., where there is only one depository system – the Depository Trust Company -- there are dozens in Europe. This creates an operational nightmare for broker-dealers when settling trades.

Making Friends, With Cost-Basis Reporting

June 15, 2011

The IRS may have just found another reason for mutual fund operations executives to reach out and make new friends. Necessity.

Hedge Funds Facing ‘Massive Data Project’

June 6, 2011

Just how difficult will it be complete not just Form ADV, but Form PF? The operational pleasures of registering at the SEC.

EC Call on ID Fees Not Good Enough, Siebel Says

May 31, 2011

Trade organizations representing European fund managers, banks and brokerage firms are concerned that a recent EC decision may not go far enough in protecting their use of international securities identification numbers. Rudolf Siebel, managing director for Bundesverband Investment und Asset Management, spoke with Securities Technology Monitor.

Global Harmony: Fair But Not Easy

May 24, 2011

Figuring out the "fair value" of financial instruments will, very soon, have to meet international standards.

Transferring Transfer Agents

May 17, 2011

Migrate or move. That’s the choice facing companies which use Bank of New York Mellon to keep track of shares in registered investors’ accounts, send dividend checks, mail proxy materials and ballots and count up votes. Here is what to think about.

Keep It Simple, Issuers

May 10, 2011

Getting the data right to keep track of a financial instrument throughout its life is not easy. Don't make it harder than it has to be.

Five Guidelines for Measuring Counterparty Risk

May 4, 2011

How to measure counterparty risk correctly is a difficult task.

Mobile Compliance, On Call

April 27, 2011

To catch more instances of insider trading, the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority now wants City of London firms to record calls made on mobile phone and other “relevant devises” for at least six months as of November 14.

Here's Some Advice, Advisers: Don't Wait (to Register)

April 19, 2011

July 21 may seem like over four months away. But it really isn’t for investment advisers who have to be registered by that date with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

When Licensing and Outsourcing Collide

April 12, 2011

Brokers will have to license their senior operations executives. How many of them will not actually be their employees?

Ticked Over Tick Fees

April 6, 2011

Have NYSE Arca and Nasdaq OMX finally won a five-year battle with a group of Internet companies and SIFMA over how much they can charge for proprietary market data?

Settling on Settlement Instructions

March 30, 2011

Failures in standing settlement instructions are the most avoidable triggers of failed trades, say investment operations experts.

Verifying the Verifier

March 22, 2011

Investment managers live and die by how well the funds they manage are performing. But who can check on whether they are providing investors with the right calculations?

ID Codes: ANNA Suits Up

March 14, 2011

The Association of National Numbering Agencies has thrown its hat in the ring to set a standard for identifying financial entities, to help guard against systemic risk. But ANNA is vying for anointment by the Office of Financial Research in apparent competition with one of its own members, CUSIP Global Services.

Business Conduct, Swaps & You

March 8, 2011

Swap dealers and major swap market participants could soon have greater operational and legal issues to worry about than whether or not they clear their transactions through a centralized clearinghouse.

FIXing Trade Execution Reports

March 1, 2011

A committee of buy-side firms released a set of recommendations on what information and data formats broker-dealers should include when sending reports on executed orders to fund managers.

What Brokers Don’t Know About Muni Bonds

February 22, 2011

When it comes to municipal bonds, broker-dealers face an unusual challenge that is beyond their control.

DTCC and SWIFT: Code Collaborators

February 15, 2011

Until recently, the two were competitors when it came to creating identification codes for business entities. What changed?

Lost Shareholders & Hot Water

February 8, 2011

Broker-dealers will be surprised, if they think that meeting potential requirements set by the Securities and Exchange Commission tracking down lost shareholders won’t be that difficult. If they don’t cross-their T’s and dot their I’s in how they communicate to the holders of unclaimed securities accounts they could find themselves in hot water with a state agency. …

Brokers, Find Your 'Lost' Shareholders

January 31, 2011

The SEC on Jan. 27 said broker-dealers have to track down “lost” shareholders. It’s an outgrowth of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act which puts them on a level playing field with transfer agents.

The Merits of Mexico’s New Settlement System

January 25, 2011

Indeval chief risk officer Jaime Villasenor discusses the central securities depository's new Model III settlement system and how it works.

Tech Spending: Buy Side's Biggest Bets

January 18, 2011

Fund managers are also realizing they can’t avoid automating procedures -- or continuing to rely on what their trading counterparts and third-party service providers are telling them.

Getting Real (Or Near-Real) in Mexico

January 12, 2011

With the help of IBM, Mexico has just laid claim to creating the world’s most efficient securities depository. How is that?

Top Priorities for Tech Spending in 2011

January 5, 2011

Here are the top five priorities for spending in the coming year, based on interviews conducted with about a dozen operations and technology executives, as well as software vendors who serve them.

Top 5 Nightmares in 2011

December 27, 2010

As 2010 draws to a close, operations executives are trying to wrap up their reports to senior management of just what went wrong and why. And here's what worries them about 2011.

Top Ten Operational Risks to Avoid

December 17, 2010

When glitches happen in the processing of trades on Wall Street, those in charge are sitting in "middle" and "back" offices. Here are the risks they (and you) face, front and center.

Bloomberg’s Openness on Symbology

December 14, 2010

Just because Bloomberg is giving away its method for identifying securities does not mean it will become a standard.

Mortgage-Backed Securities, Fail No More

December 8, 2010

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates that from October 28 through November 24, 2010 about $3.1 trillion worth of mortgage-backed securities were not delivered on time. A fix is in the works.

In the Clean Up Spot: Data Management

November 30, 2010

Financial firms still have a long way to go to ensure the accuracy and consistency of the data they store about the transactions they execute and the customers and trading parties they deal with.

It's the System's Fault? Not.

November 23, 2010

Why cutting corners won't cut it with regulators, for back-office executives.

Identifying Securities: At What Cost?

November 16, 2010

Are complaints about CUSIP fees being sent up the wrong tree? The SEC is not a utility commission. It does not regulate rates or fees or prices.

Who Really Benefits from Proxy Reform?

November 9, 2010

As is always the case with regulatory reform, there are winners and losers. In reforming the distribution of proxy materials, however, the identification part gets hard.

FINRA & Fiduciary Standards: Are Advisers Next?

November 5, 2010

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority already is coming up with some nitty gritty disclosure requirements on fiduciary care for broker-dealers. Watch out, investment advisers.

Hung Jury on Proxy Reform?

October 26, 2010

The SEC is not likely to force significant change in the proxy distribution process, in the estimation of an Avondale Partners analyst.

Tower of Babel, in Messaging Standards

October 19, 2010

Six trade associations have come up with their own investment roadmap for securities messages with a slight twist – All existing types will live on.

A Taxing System for Foreign Accounts

October 12, 2010

Financial firms were hoping the IRS would make it easy for them to withhold tax on U.S. customers buying foreign securities. They didn't get their wish.

A Taxing System for Foreign Accounts

October 12, 2010

Financial firms were hoping the IRS would make it easy for them to withhold tax on U.S. customers buying foreign securities. They didn't get their wish.

Market Data’s Carte Blanche

October 5, 2010

Has the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act given U.S. exchanges carte blanche to charge whatever they want for distributing market data to their members?

The Cost of Settlement: 20 Eurocents and Counting

September 28, 2010

What will it really cost to settle transactions through Target2Securities, Europe's aborning "single platform" for settlement?

Lots of Data, No Standards Equals Little Value

September 21, 2010

Financial firms are centralizing management of their data and paying extra to make sure it is accurate. But its value is being lost, by lack of standards.

Clearing Up Securities Lending

September 13, 2010

If equity exchanges and fixed income deals are cleared through central clearinghouses, so should securities lending transaction

Same-Day Affirmation … or Same-Day Matching?

September 7, 2010

Fund managers need to reduce the number of trades which don’t settle on time or are settled erroneously.

Fund Managers: Expand Best Execution to the Back-Office

August 31, 2010

Fund managers try to provide their institutional clients with best execution, but are falling short of the mark in one key area- back office settlement fees. Thanks to a technology company and broker-dealer called ESP Technologies, they don’t have to.

Wanted: Chief Data Officer. Data Skills Not Necessary.

August 24, 2010

Pretty soon the U.S government will have the equivalent of a chief data officer. This will be the person who occupies the post of director of the Office of Financial Research. The OFR is new agency that will be for the collecting of data from financial corporations what the Internal Revenue Service is for taxes. This newly created department will be responsible for collecting whatever data is needed from financial institutions so that the industry as…

Get Real Data. Go Virtual.

August 17, 2010

When you can’t find the information you actually want, virtual data may be the best answer.

Who Will Pay for Client-Directed Voting?

August 10, 2010

Suppose a broker-dealer or bank could come up with a way for retail investors – Mr. and Mrs. U.S. Citizen -- to cast their votes in corporate agendas. Who will pay for it?

Hedge Fund Managers: It’s Show Time

August 3, 2010

You’re one of the thousands of hedge fund managers who has accumulated enough assets to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission based on the new financial reform legislation. Now what?

Stating Their Cases For Hedge Fund Registration

July 27, 2010

You're a small startup hedge fund. You think you've avoided registration. Maybe with the SEC, that will be true. But not states, necessarily.

In Classifying Clients, Keep Track of the Data

July 20, 2010

European regulators are putting the practices of financial firms to the test by ensuring they know how to classify and update their counterparty records.

Disclosing the Costs of the Fiduciary Standard

July 13, 2010

No one’s said anything yet about it, but a fiduciary standard will mean not just keeping an investor’s interests ahead of one’s own. It will also mean making sure that customer knows what that is costing.

Supremes Rule: Back to Square One on Business Patents

July 6, 2010

A long-awaited ruling by the Supreme Court on June 28 didn’t do away with patenting business methods. But it did little to explain just what litmus test can be used.

Reform Should Not Panic Fund Managers

June 29, 2010

Fund managers will have to make some massive changes in handling trades of over-the-counter derivatives even though they are not specifically mentioned in the new legislation.

Don’t Let Your Operations Team Grow Up to be Traders

June 22, 2010

What you can learn from the "rogue trader" incident at Societe General, while attending the Securities Industry and Financial Market Association’s technology show this week.

Undertakings IV: The Scary Movie Trailer

June 15, 2010

UCITS IV its just around the corner. Yes, this sounds like the fourth version of that scary movie, the Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities.

The DTCC, Efficiency and OTC Collateral Management

June 8, 2010

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. has set its sights on playing a role in the often neglected aspect of the OTC market – managing collateral. And it's eager to listen to your ideas.

Measuring Up: Do You Fail As Often As Your Peers?

June 1, 2010

North American fund managers find the most settlement failures occur in Eastern Europe. There, 23.4 percent of trades failed to settle on time. This is just one of the tidbits of information which investment managers will learn to help them avoid future settlement failures when they subscribe to a new service offered by Cutter Associates.

When Certifying Data is Accurate, Certify the Professionals

May 25, 2010

Data management executives handle one of the most critical aspects of the financial services industry – the information used to trade and process millions if not billions of securities transactions each year. But just how qualified are they?

Think, Before Building Pricing Platform From Scratch

May 18, 2010

Financial firms wanting to develop a system in-house to price their book of business in over-the-counter derivatives had better think twice.

Standardization: Not As Easy As It Sounds

May 11, 2010

When it comes to the reporting requirements of hedge funds, standardization could easily become costly, cumbersome and ill-advised, say data management experts.

More Regs on the Way: Get Ready for A Lot More Ops and IT Headaches (And Pull Out Those Wallets)

May 4, 2010

The worldwide economic crisis may not be over and regulations may not be finalized on how to prevent a recurrence.

Going to the Source for Corporate Actions

April 27, 2010

XBRL U.S., SWIFT and the DTCC say they have come up with a better game plan. They want to tag corporate actions in the eXtensible Business Reporting Language protocol. Who wouldn't want that?

Coexistence? Not as Great as it Sounds

April 20, 2010

"Coexistence" is a catch-all phrase used by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Communications as it moves from an existing message format to a new one. But it may be a costly existence.

Difficulty, Dread & Cost-Basis Reporting

April 13, 2010

If the U.S. securities industry thought switching to new options symbols in February would be operationally challenging and expensive – just wait until the Internal Revenue Service’s cost-basis reporting rules come into effect next year.

SEC to Bank CFOs: Do You Know Where Your Repos Are?

April 6, 2010

The Treasury, operations and financial accounting departments of some of the U.S’ largest banks are going to be pretty busy for the next few days, if not weeks.

Code Enforcement: Who Regulates the Regulator?

March 30, 2010

The Financial Services Authority apparently thinks that securities firms in the United Kingdom should do as it says and not do as it does. In managing its own house, it isn’t doing such a great job.

Preventing Disasters at Hedge Funds

March 23, 2010

Despite increased scrutiny, an analysis of 22 U.S. hedge funds found that hedge funds aren’t prepared for electronic disasters. They also allegedly aren’t keeping customer and trading data secure.

Money Market Funds Must Now Play Tag

March 16, 2010

Operations staff soon will be faced with the task of quickly reporting more information about the holdings in their money market funds. And they will have to do so using the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) tagging format.

Getting a Grip on Bilaterally Cleared Trade

March 12, 2010

The National Securities Clearing Corp. will soon launch a service called the Obligation Warehouse, which will offer its broker-dealer participants an automated way of reducing operating costs – and risk – with trades involving equities, corporate bonds, municipal bonds and unit investment trusts.

Creating A Global Data Repository: Who Will Blink First?

February 23, 2010

The Fed wants to take on the role of systematic risk overseer in the U.S. if not the globe. And it needs data to analyze to do it. How will it get it?

Developing Software? Be Forewarned and Forearmed

February 16, 2010

You think you have just achieved the American dream by producing a piece of software that the securities industry needs, wants and has to use. Nothing can go wrong, right? Not exactly. You have to protect your dream first.

Final Countdown to New Options Symbols: Get Ready (or Else)

February 9, 2010

There are only three days left until ticker symbols for U.S. options expand from five characters to as many as 21. Are you ready?

The Season for Fairer Value in Annual Reports

February 2, 2010

Operations executives, data analysts, valuation experts and IT staff will need to brace themselves to do even more work to do when it comes to valuing their securities correctly this year. Simply striking a correct price on assets held by a fund manager, bank or brokerage firm won’t be enough.