What’s Hot at Sibos 2015?

by Fabian Vandenreydt, SWIFT’s Head of Markets Management, Innotribe and SWIFT Institute

In this complex global market, all participants face common challenges. Industry issues such as the heavy impact of regulation, the adoption of new standards, and the role of compliance, are some of the change drivers that will be debated in the Securities stream at Sibos 2015; held this year at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, it is on track to be one of the biggest of its kind to date. Fabian Vandenreydt, SWIFT’s Head of Markets Management, Innotribe and SWIFT Institute, gives an insight into what should be some of the most interesting areas and latest trends that will be covered at this year’s conference.

Brian Bollen: What do you see as the main themes for securities at this year’s gathering?

Fabian Vandenreydt: “I would argue there are four main broad industry themes. One, account segregation and portability. Two, the efficiency of clearing and settlement, with the emphasis on shortening the time between trade and settlement. Three, the drive by regulators for greater transparency and reporting. And finally, the balancing of compliance requirements, efficiency and costs.”

BB: Is regulation again likely to be at the top of the agenda at Sibos this year?

FV: “Compliance with regulation remains a major concern, but new realities are forcing financial institutions to re-evaluate their operational strategies and make changes to their business models. There are going to be some very interesting discussions at Sibos on whether outsourcing, collaboration, innovation and strategic partnerships or a mix of all these are going to help the industry to return to a path of growth.”

BB: What sort of areas of innovation in particular will be discussed?

FV: “There has been a lot of discussion in the media about new entrants and technologies which could potentially bring new functionalities to the securities industry. Through Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute we are carrying out research into a number of these areas, for example we recently launched a grant through the SWIFT Institute for a new paper on ‘The Impact and Potential of Blockchain on the Securities Transaction Lifecycle.’ In line with our established modus operandi for such research, we invited suggestions from our 200-plus university partners, sent out requests for proposal and have now selected the academics to carry out the research and writing. We would expect the paper to be published around the middle of 2016. What we can say in the meantime without much fear of contradiction is that uses for blockchain technologies are being discussed throughout our industry, making it an excellent and timely topic for examination. What does it mean for the industry’s ecosystems? Who will be impacted by it? Who will monitor and enforce it?”

BB: You also mentioned outsourcing, will that be on the agenda?

FV: “Yes, there are a few sessions on this topic. A recent study carried out by the SWIFT Institute showed that 65 percent of the 13,000 European mutual funds managers trusted third parties with at least part of their administration activities in an effort to provide additional value to their customers, while still focusing on meeting regulatory obligations. Greater efficiency and cost reduction have been the key drivers for outsourcing in Europe and the US, whereas market internationalisation and growth have been the triggers in Asia Pacific. However, for an industry expecting an increase of regulation and transparency, the transfer of activities and processes between different institutions will not come without major challenges. As the value chain lengthens, scrutiny of individual levels of service provision is showing a tendency to increase, partly because of regulatory requirements but also because of the growing emphasis on transparency, efficiency and cost.”

BB: Will financial crime compliance be a key area of debate?

FV: “Certainly. Sanctions are being used as a tool increasingly around the world and this is pushing up demand for sanctions screening services. The line-up at our Compliance Forum at Sibos is very strong this year. With the increased use of financial sanctions globally, and regulatory pressure to maintain strong sanctions compliance capabilities, the spotlight has fallen more and more on the securities industry. At Sibos we will discuss the challenges, and potential solutions which will require multiple players to work with one another to establish and mitigate risks in this area.”

BB: What do you see as some of the major achievements in the industry since last year?

FV: “The successful transition by T2S to live operations is a major milestone in the ongoing harmonisation of clearing and settlement in Europe. As one of the main conduits into T2S we have been immersed in its creation, development and implementation. We are delighted to have played such a key role in this important project. We look forward to continuing to support our community as the migration progresses.”

BB: Finally, what do you think will be hot topics in 2016 in the build up to Sibos Geneva?

FV: “I think there has not been as much coverage of ISO 20022 as perhaps there should have been. ISO 20022 has rapidly become the financial industry’s preferred standard for new market infrastructure initiatives and there are about 200 initiatives around the world that have either implemented, or are planning to implement, ISO 20022 across payments, cash management, securities, trade finance and treasury domains. Major examples include SEPA, TARGET2, T2S, EBA EURO1/STEP1, DTCC, CPA, SADC, JASDEC, ASX, SGX, and RTGS India. Some of the key drivers are regulatory reform, pan-regional integration, renewal of technology, the drive for automation, and the facilitation of new services. I think that if you are not already on the front foot for these changes, then you will need to be very shortly!”

BB: You mentioned Innotribe earlier. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

FV: “Innotribe is SWIFT’s fintech (financial technology) innovation initiative that brings together highly qualified financial services experts, angel investors, venture capitalists, and global fintech and financial decision makers. Innotribe provides early insights on innovations that could disrupt current business models and create new opportunities. Through the Startup Challenge, it also introduces today’s brightest startups to the financial industry.

Since its successful debut at Sibos Hong Kong in 2009, SWIFT’s Innotribe programme has evolved from an experimental Sibos feature to a pioneering innovation initiative that features a series of global events across the year, including the renowned Innotribe forum at Sibos.

Initiatives like Innotribe enable us to directly engage with our community on current innovation activity, emerging trends and potential disruptors of today’s financial ecosystem. FinTech has changed beyond recognition since Innotribe was launched seven years ago and the discussions that drive our programme have been mirroring the wider shifts occurring in financial services.”

BB: Will Innotribe feature prominently at Sibos 2015?

FV: Yes. From October 12-15, Innotribe will dedicate each day of its four-day programme to a particular topic: platforms, society, innovation mind-shift, and machine intelligence. All sessions will take place on the Innotribe Stand, directly adjacent to the SWIFT stand on the Exhibition floor. Our tagline this year is “the right mix” and we have taken great pains to ensure diversity across the different thought-leaders joining us throughout the week: men, women, millennials, investors, accelerators and contrarians.

Innotribe, like SWIFT and Sibos itself, is really about connecting people, networks and ideas.”

BOX: Fabian Vandenreydt

Belgian national Fabian Vandenreydt is a director at SWIFT, based at the company’s headquarters outside Brussels and was recently named as ‘one of the 40 leaders of fintech in Europe’.

He is responsible for managing SWIFT’s business in the areas of corporate treasury, securities and banking, which includes driving traffic growth and implementing strategic development programmes for these segments across SWIFT’s core messaging platform. He is also responsible for thought-leadership in SWIFT’s strategic markets including the management of the SWIFT Institute and for infusing innovation across SWIFT’s business lines, and externally, through Innotribe.

Fabian has held a number of senior level positions at SWIFT, including head of securities and treasury markets where he launched several new initiatives supporting corporate actions, collateral management, trade reporting and legal entity identifiers. He was also head of product management where he contributed to the SWIFT2015 platform strategy. He also led SWIFT’s market strategy and product management activities in messaging and value-added services for the securities post-trade group.

Fabian brings over 20 years’ of financial services experience to SWIFT. He joined SWIFT in 2004 from Capco, a consultancy, where he was involved in large front-to-back automation programs for securities firms specializing in FX, equities, derivatives and fixed income markets. Previously, he was a vice-president at Euroclear, in charge of product management for communications services.