Corporate Actions special report

ird-corporate-actions-report-may2013

May 2013 - sponsored by: Fidelity ActionsXchange, SunGard, Thomson Reuters

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Catching Up with Events

This time last year, corporate actions professionals appeared to have a lot of work ahead of them. There were pressures to process corporate actions information faster, manage new types of taxation information as part of the actions, and achieve better accuracy even with that greater timeliness.

The upgrade of the ISO standards for corporate actions messaging from 15022 to 20022 remains a standoff between North America and Europe. This is despite the difficulty current messaging protocols have in keeping pace with new and more complex corporate actions event structures, as Fidelity ActionsXchange chief operating officer Deborah Culhane points out in the Virtual Roundtable beginning on page 8 of this report.

But the corporate actions space has seen some progress in the past year. Swift has been working on evolving those messaging protocols, as Culhane also notes. Initiatives are also gaining steam in Asia, according to Standard Chartered Bank's Jyi-chen Chueh. The Asia-Pacific region is catching up by moving away from manual announcements to the 15022 message format, he says.

Volumes are growing, however, as Culhane, Chueh and Thomson Reuters' Paul Fullam all acknowledge. US tax-rate changes drove an increase in dividends at the end of 2012, which created more corporate actions volume, while Chueh has seen Singapore become a top 10 country in Swift corporate actions traffic. Event types, says Fullam, are bound to increase with greater specificity-requiring more tracking and a greater understanding of income, returns and taxation potential related to the corporate actions. So, while some challenges have become clearer and methods to address them are being developed, even more lie ahead.

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