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SunGard Makes its Mark in Corporate Actions Market through XSP Acquisition

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SunGard’s acquisition of XcitekSolutionsPlus (XSP) marks a major step up in the corporate actions market for SunGard and marks an erosion of the population of independent corporate actions platform specialists. The deal, details of which have not been disclosed, was done late last year with XSP becoming part of SunGard’s capital markets business on December 21.

SunGard’s relationship with XSP goes back close to the start of the corporate actions software vendor that was set up as a result of combining Xcitek and Solutions Plus in 1996. In 1998, XSP entered a partnership agreement with SunGard to interface its enterprise corporate actions solution with SunGard’s back-office accounting systems. In 2008, Sungard integrated the XSP corporate actions platform with its Phase3 securities processing solution in a hosted environment to offer users improved straight-through-processing at lower cost.

Through the XSP acquisition, SunGard will add the flagship XSP v5 enterprise solution, which includes data sourcing and cleansing, position monitoring, notification and response, and entitlement processing, and can be deployed in-house or hosted and managed by XSP in a private cloud. It will also gain XSPrisa, the cut-down, software-as-a-service version of XSP v5 that was introduced by XSP in April 2012 to meet the corporate actions needs of tier two and top tier three market participants. Other XSP solutions include XSP GO!, a suite of user interface components including mobile applications, and eTran+, a web-based notification and response tool.

In addition to XSP’s product offerings, the acquisition gives SunGard a core corporate actions client base as well as partnership and reseller agreements with companies including DST Global Solutions and Broadridge Financial Solutions. Prior to the XSP acquisition, SunGard’s most recent activity in corporate actions was its March 2011 acquisition of ValueLink Information Services, a provider of validated financial data. ValueLink’s services were used to extend SunGard’s Asset Arena suite of investment management solutions to include robust validation of corporate actions data and security pricing.

Going forward, XSP’s chief executive, Brendan Farrell, will continue to lead the XSP team within SunGard and report to John Grimaldi, head of SunGard’s North American securities business. Commenting on the acquisition, Grimaldi says: “Corporate actions processing is fundamental to the successful operations of most financial services firms, including sell-side traders, custodians, asset managers, hedge funds and wealth managers. These firms are at the heart of SunGard’s business. The acquisition of XSP will help us deliver specialist corporate actions expertise and solutions to these core customers and enhance our offering to our securities processing, accounting and servicing customers.”

Farrell adds: “Becoming part of SunGard will help us grow our global footprint and further enhance the breadth of our offering.” Among projects in the R&D department at XSP are upgrades for XSP v5, which first came to market in 2008, and development of support for Swift ISO 20022, the more detailed Swift messaging standard for corporate actions that is expected will follow today’s widely used ISO 15022 standard. Last summer, Farrell said XSP would support both standards indefinitely, a shrewd move in a market that has yet to set a cut-off date for ISO 15022 and a move to ISO 20022.

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