Video: TowerGroup's Raeves on Corporate Actions and Regulation

Tine Thoresen speaks to Gert Raeves, research director, capital markets, TowerGroup, at the CorpActions Europe conference in London in July, where he did the keynote presentation



Inside Reference Data reported live from the CorpActions Europe 2011 conference in London yesterday via Twitter, and here's an edited summary of event tweets from @TineThoresen \#corpactions

Opening remarks

Justin Chapman, Northern Trust, says the question is "do we have time for corporate actions" with everything else going on in the market.

Raeves' keynote on corporate actions and regulation

Gert Raeves, Tower Group, says "the industry still has a lot of appetite to get this right"

387 mentions of 'data' in Dodd Frank, but not a single mention of 'corporate actions', says Raeves

The job should be done more and more by machines, but that isn't happening because of the complexity, says Raeves

Corporate actions and the front office

Raeves, now on the panel, explains corporate action is information about corporate activity - will always be relevant to the front office

Joseph Haddock, Bloomberg, says one area of interest to the front office is mergers - current example is TMX

Haddock: although there are opportunities for the front office, there are also risks associated with corp actions going to front office

One risk is confusion, he says

Audience member: my impression is that there is a lot of conflict between the back office and the front office that is never aired

Straight-through processing for corporate actions

There's been a lot of work done on standards and harmonisation, says Colin Webb, FIL Investments International, but still a way to go

John Kirkpatrick, Citi, says there's lots of good focus in the industry, but it depends on where you sit in the chain

If you're at the beginning of the chain, there's miles to go, says Kirkpatrick

Mark Davies, Standard Chartered, says Asia is way ahead of the pack "for our markets"

Harry Rana, XSP, says "we're trying to sell an STP model"

Risk is introduced when users start typing in information, he says

70% of what we now receive is in 565 format, says Kirkpatrick

Losses are linked to unformatted events, so this is a big focus area

The industry is waking up to the fact that there is some good vendor technology out there, says Kirkpatrick

More configurable technology helps

Rana says having that level of configurability is "a big positive" for tools that are available in the market

Corporate governance and proxy voting

Panellist says more large fund managers should be encouraged to be active owners

Helena Mahoney, Hermes Fund Managers, says it would be useful to know if the vote has been registered - more transparency into the process

Vote confirmation is lacking today, say panellists

The voting process: "It's a very fractured environment," says Jai Baker, Capita Registrars

A more positive note from Les Turner, ISS Governance: "We have actually come quite a long way"

Panellists say a key priority is developing a standard for voting instructions

If you go to the trouble of voting, you want to know the vote goes to where it is supposed to go, says a speaker

Reference data and utilities

PJ Di Giammarino, JWG, explains recent developments relating to the OFR and LEI

Matt Cox, BNY Mellon, says it's important it doesn't just become another identifier

Max Mansur, Swift, says it can be useful

Hugh Stewart, SmartStream, says "persuade me it's not just another cost"

There are data accuracy and ownership issues as well, say speakers

Delegate suggests using same system as the one used for IP addresses, where you register. Is this a model for making it work?

Up-to-date data dictionary would make it simple to add LEI, says Stewart

Advice from panellists is to be prepared

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