has been 18 months since Jeff Conway returned to the UK after a
decade in his native US and is now firmly settled into his role
of CEO of EMEA, with regional responsibility for the Global
Services, Global Markets and Global Exchange
has brought back a zeal for technology and is leading a
root-and-branch overhaul of business processes. Europe has not,
in the meantime, had a stellar year. Brexit and market
turbulence have only added to the daunting prospect of
complying with an unceasing barrage of compliance
clients need us now more than they ever have. We need to be
relentless in our ability to deliver for them."
"relentlessly deliver" is a phrase that Conway repeats during
the interview, describing the need for his business to support
clients in increasingly challenging times. Testing for sure,
but also circumstances where the best prepared can pull out an
every industry trend or regulatory change will benefit State
Street but Conway takes the view that there is now no point
fighting the inevitable and effort is best spent getting ahead
of the curve.
accept it – regulation is not going to go away. We
have our own regulatory requirements but our clients have their
own and we need to help them. I looked at the level of demand
that our customers were looking to from us – and it
continues to be quite high."
is an array of possible strategic directions for the truly
global custodian banks. Primarily due to regulation, there are
unresolved questions of what is required of trust banks, new
opportunities left by investment banks curtailed by capital
constraints and areas where clients need additional
there is confusion, there are real opportunities," he says. "On
the back of market change there is opportunity for us to
introduce a new set of capabilities. Our ability to position
the organisation while remaining nimble enough in areas of
change is going to put us in a good place."
example, State Street’s enhanced custody product
was launched as a result of regulatory constraints hitting
prime brokers. Enhanced custody, run by Alex
Lawton’s team for EMEA from London, provides short
supply to the market alongside (rather than competing with)
prime brokers, many of which are constrained by Basel III and
would perhaps rather concentrate on activities attracting less
capital cost and greater revenue.
for certainty before starting the development process would
mean products would not be ready when clients’
are going to have to take some bets – for lack of a
better word – in advancing new innovative solutions.
It isn’t always going to be a clear path. But if
we are smart about how the regulatory environment is driving
the market then we can take some new product bets."
complexity and frequency of regulatory reporting requirements
has stoked demand for powerful data solutions. State Street is
certainly not alone creating products to streamline vast
amounts of data but Conway says that State Street Global
Exchange is "doubling-down" on its solution.