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Thought leadership: Richard Glen, Clearstream
06 June 2014
Richard Glen, head of GSF Sales and Broker-Dealer Relations, UK, Ireland & Americas, discusses how partnerships are helping Clearstream to improve access to collateral and liquidity
Clearstream has provided infrastructure solutions for
collateral management for over 20 years. What are the key
lessons you have learned?
Since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007, collateral has
become much more important for members of the financial
community and infrastructure has played a key role as the
bedrock of financial stability.
Our experience in the aftermath of the crisis in Europe has
produced some significant benchmarks in the way collateral can
be managed efficiently and cost effectively. This includes our
work with Eurex Clearing’s GC Pooling service as
well as using our tri-party product to mobilise collateral with
ease at the Bundesbank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New
A number of other infrastructure providers have sought guidance
and advice as to what we’ve done and how
we’ve done it and, with our assistance, have
looked to replicate these arrangements in their home markets.
What are the current trends?
The industry is becoming more global in terms of where
collateral, settlement, liquidity and asset servicing needs are
managed. More and more counterparties want the possibility of
using their assets across different time zones and locations
and we are moving towards a 24/7 real-time, transaction
Infrastructure, technology and specifically the speed of
settlement processes need to be adapted accordingly. Another
trend we are seeing centres around resourcing and costs.
Budgets are getting tighter so customers don’t
want to embark on a 5 or 10-year programme of building in-house
They would prefer to work with a reliable partner on a 12 to
18-month implementation timetable and to have the
infrastructure up and running as quickly as possible. This
allows them to start earning revenue earlier and therefore make
a quicker return on their investment.
How are you working with market participants to cater
for these trends?
Clearstream caters for institutions with specific local
requirements, as well as those who are globally focused. We
service broker-dealers who take a very holistic view of how
they want their business and assets to be managed.
We need to look beyond traditional domestic or regional
boundaries to understand exactly what implications their
demands have in terms of our business model, systems and
Having said that, we also need to be very astute and aware of
specific local needs. The success of our franchising
arrangements with our Liquidity Hub GO and Connect initiatives
lies in the collaboration of highly skilled implementation
teams with local market partners. They handle the specific
local customs and nuances relating to collateral and help
deliver the right technology environment for that market.
Where would you say Clearstream excels in adding value
to your partnerships?
First, I would say that customers value ourability to work in
partnership not just with their teams, but also with vendors
and other infrastructure providers, based on our expertise and
experience in collateral management.
Second, Clearstream has a sound reputation for innovation,
specifically in terms of the product and service focus and the
way that we roll out and manage technological upgrades in a
consistent manner. As a company, we have always tried to be
flexible around what customers are asking for and we are
willing to look into solutions that will make things better and
make our customers lives a lot easier.