The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), SWIFT and XBRL US announced today the creation of a Stakeholder Group as a part of its Issuer to Investor: Corporate Actions initiative, which was launched in May 2009, to improve the processing of corporate actions data in the U.S. Composed of key players from the industry, the U.S. Issuer to Investor Stakeholder Group will represent the needs of the corporate actions reporting and processing supply chain.
The Group will be divided into three subgroups – Issuers, Intermediaries and Investors – and will provide input, make recommendations and help articulate the pros and cons for electronically capturing data directly from issuers and their agents in a standardized format at the point at which a corporate action is announced. Each group will be tasked with providing input to the current process as well as determining what changes would be required if issuers produced corporate actions messages in XBRL format aligned with ISO 20022.
The Issuers are represented by AGL Resources, Duke Energy, ENGlobal, Pfizer, Inc. and United Technologies and by issuer agents including Merrill Corporation, NYSE Euronext and PR Newswire, among others. The National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) has also joined the group to observe and to provide an investor relations perspective.
“United Technologies has been submitting financial statement filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission EDGAR system for years and we understand how a technology standard can vastly improve accuracy, transparency and usability of corporate data. Corporate actions information, submitted today in free-form documents like press releases and prospectuses, is a logical next step for the use of XBRL. The cost of implementation is low, given that all public companies are now required to file in XBRL format, the downstream benefits to analysts and investors could be high,” said John Stantial, Assistant Controller Financial Reporting & Analysis at United Technologies.
Financial intermediaries are represented by DTCC and other custodians and broker dealers.
Investors are currently represented by AllianceBernstein, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, State Street Global Advisors, T. Rowe Price, and Vanguard.
Richard Taggart, EVP, Head of Operations at AllianceBernstein, said, “We need to work together to help the issuers better recognize that their shareholders and potential investors are seeking upgrades to outdated text-based corporate action notices, which impact operational risk, cost, and the timeliness of investment decisions. In a global economy where investors have many investments to choose from, companies should recognize that the small investment required to upgrade their corporate actions notices to XBRL standards will be recognized and applauded by their investors.”
In addition to establishing the Stakeholder Group, other key milestones for the initiative include:
1) Building an XBRL corporate actions taxonomy (digital dictionary) that is aligned with ISO 20022 repository elements which will enable issuers to electronically capture key data items within a corporate action document such as a press release or prospectus.
2) Making all DTCC corporate action announcements available in the ISO 20022 format beginning in 2010 as part of plans to complete the migration of all corporate actions processing to ISO 20022 in 2015,
3) Rolling out the ISO 20022 messages globally and promoting the adoption of XBRL for corporate actions by working with other jurisdictions and XBRL International using the U.S. initiative as a foundation.
About Issuer to Investor: Corporate Actions
Issuer to Investor: Corporate Actions is a joint initiative led by DTCC, SWIFT and XBRL US to improve communications between issuers and investors for corporate actions announcements in the U.S. On average, approximately 200,000 corporate actions such as dividends, bond redemptions, rights offerings and mergers are announced each year by publicly traded companies and other issuers or offerors in the U.S. alone. This is significant because most of these announcements still require many manual steps, making the process error-prone, time-consuming and costly. Over the years, these issues have a negative impact on investors across the financial community.
To help mitigate these problems and drive down the costs associated with processing corporate actions, DTCC, SWIFT and XBRL US have joined forces to identify a solution. The resulting initiative builds on the work undertaken globally to promote existing ISO standards for corporate actions and integrates the benefits of XBRL electronic data tagging technology. The collaboration promotes straight-through-processing by electronically capturing data directly from issuers at the point that a corporate action is announced and in standardized format.
For more information about the initiative, please visit http://www.dtcc.com/downloads/products/gca/SIBOS_CorpActions_Supplement.pdf.