Reference case

Supporting in the settlement of securities

Alexander Woolley Project Consultant at TriFinance Financial Institutions Connect on Linkedin
Key Take-Aways
  • The importance of assigning the most suitable consultant to a project
  • Start with a handover period to ensure all the necessary skills are taught
  • Our diligent and accurate work approach results in trust and a lasting collaborative relationship

For the past few years, TriFinance Financial Institutions has been an active partner in supporting the client’s growth towards their sustainable and innovative business model. During my project, I was part of the Back Office team, more specifically in charge of the transfer and settlement of its client’s securities in an effort to guarantee the quality of their asset servicing model.

Understanding Standard Settlement Instructions (SSI)

The bank has been acquired by another group to focus on its constant and sustainable growth. As an online-only bank, they aspire to make their platform easy to use as well as innovative. Their portfolio of activities consists of day-to-day banking services, different kinds of investment plans for their clients, the possibility of buying and selling all sorts of securities (stocks, bonds, derivatives, …). Finally, they also offer mortgages. They offer these services primarily to retail clients.

TriFinance has been actively involved in supporting the client’s activities. For the past couple of years, the client has been undergoing internal changes and was in need of a consultant who could support their Back Office, specifically for the transfer and settlement of securities.

To successfully support their team, the consultant needed to have an affinity with the financial markets and its participants, especially the different kinds of financial products and how these are kept for safekeeping at their custodian(s). Additionally, the technical aspect of understanding Standard Settlement Instructions (SSI) was crucial to conclude this mission accurately.

Guaranteeing business continuity

The internal changes within the company have caused structural changes in the Back Office department. The client turned to TriFinance to guarantee the business continuity of their asset servicing model to their clients.

The challenging processes during the mission were mostly related to being in daily contact with the client’s clients, other internal departments and relevant stakeholders (such as custodians and counterparties). This in conjunction with the technical challenge of using and matching SSI’s were critical in delivering an optimal performance to the client. During the mission, I was in contact with most of the other internal departments, such as Middle Office, Compliance, the Financial Markets team and higher-level management, who had to oversee the project.

The client turned to TriFinance to guarantee the business continuity of their asset servicing model to their clients.

Alexander Woolley, Project Consultant at TriFinance Financial Institutions

Smooth project conclusion

The project commenced at the beginning of September 2021, when a handover period of 1 month was initiated to ensure all the necessary skills were taught. Once I was independently up and running in the Back Office team, I carried out the transfer and settlement of the client’s securities using the SSI format. This guaranteed the level of service quality that the client strives to deliver. As the mission went on, one of the client’s subsidiaries was sold to another group based in Europe. As this subsidiary had roughly 10 000 different securities held at both our and their custodians, we were responsible for constructing a specifically formatted excel sheet which was conducive to solving the issue at hand.

After preparing this document for three months, the migration and settlement process of the securities had to be condensed into one weekend so that the clients of both banks would be able to trade their securities whenever they wanted to. Next to the operational transfer of securities and the migration of the subsidiary, I also participated in an internal project which optimized the flow of account closures with the help of a JIRA-workflow.

During my ten months at the client, I first worked in a team consisting only of internal employees who were part of the Back Office team. After five months, other consultants from TriFinance joined the team. This was a great opportunity to first gain an insight into the clients' way of working, and afterwards, be able to integrate our TriFinance way of working together with theirs. We all directly reported to the Head of Back Office and the Chief Operating Officer.

Next to the operational transfer of securities and the migration of the subsidiary, I also participated in an internal project which optimized the flow of account closures with the help of a JIRA-workflow.

Alexander Woolley, Project Consultant at TriFinance Financial Institutions

Throughout the entire mission, there were little to no issues or challenges which hindered the operational services which needed to be offered. However, during the migration preparation phase, there was a critical issue with one of the client’s custodians. After months of meetings and emailing back and forth, they did not provide the necessary information we needed to conclude the preparation. This caused some friction between all parties involved, but after some well-thought communication, we were able to obtain it.

At the end of the mission, the client was most appreciative of our professionalism and work ethic. As the risk of making a mistake during the settlement process can be pretty costly, it is imperative not to make any mistakes. By using our diligent and accurate work approach, there were none made which, in combination with the successful migration, established a relationship of trust between TriFinance and the client. This has ensured that the client wants to build a lasting collaborative relationship with TriFinance which is mutually beneficial.

For more info, you can always contact Alexander Woolley (alexander.woolley@trifinance.be or 02/712 08 90).

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