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Challenging the Cost and Complexity of Corporate Actions Data Management

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Corporate actions data management can be costly, complex and time consuming, but there are approaches and solutions in the market that can ease these problems and support more streamlined operations for the benefit of the business. A recent A-Team Group webinar tracked the progress of corporate actions automation, standards development and ongoing change, and concluded with some expert advice for data practitioners working in this space.

An early poll of the webinar audience showed the extent of corporate actions automation, with 3% of respondents saying their process is completely automated, 44% that it is somewhat automated, 24% that it is automated as much as possible, 21% that it is automated a little, and 8% saying it is not automated at all. The data management challenges of corporate actions emerged from another poll and were listed top-down as sourcing required data, dealing with complex data, poor data quality and processing the data.

The webinar was moderated by A-Team editor Sarah Underwood, and joined by Jim Monahan, executive director regional head North America position services at Morgan Stanley; Kerry White, executive director, asset owner segment at J.P. Morgan; and Brian Lott, enterprise content at Bloomberg.

Considering progress on the automation of corporate actions data, Monahan described an evolution from manual to mainframe and distributed systems processing, but acknowledged that some corporate actions do still need manual intervention. That said, his firm is running a three-year project to reduce touches on the data and improve straight-through-processing from 70-80% to 88%-90% of corporate actions.

The speakers added to the data management challenges suggested by the webinar poll, with Lott noting integration, quality and cost of corporate actions data. White noted increasingly complex corporate actions events, confusion caused by subjective interpretations of events, and the impact of corporate actions on downstream applications.

The transition from ISO 15022 to ISO 20022 messaging was also in focus, with the speakers agreeing that it is not always easy, but does improve straight-through-processing rates. Looking at corporate actions solutions, Lott described Bloomberg’s approach, which integrates data from many sources, formats the data and distributes it appropriately to consuming systems. Other suggestions of useful tools included risk dashboards and disruptive technologies such as blockchain and machine learning. The market response to increasingly complex corporate actions is expected to lean on not only emerging technologies, but also data vendor partnerships.

Final words of advice on data management for corporate actions included staying up to date with standards, developing systems that can accommodate change, reviewing the vendor landscape to ensure best practice, and taking a look at disruptive technologies.

Listen to the webinar to find out more about:

  • Corporate actions data
  • Messaging standards
  • Best practice data management
  • Technology solutions
  • Expert advice
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