Earlier this month, post-trade focused solution vendor Information Mosaic added ex-Capital Group exec Sigrid Wiley to its team as a product specialist for the Americas region. Wiley speaks to Reference Data Review about her career highlights thus far, including her time at Swift, and how she hopes to bring her experience as a practitioner to bear on her new role at the vendor.
Prior to joining Information Mosaic, Wiley worked as a senior business systems analyst for the Capital Group Companies in Los Angeles. She has also worked at Swift in New York, as well as its head office in Belgium. Her background also includes a senior business analyst role at Bank of New York Mellon, in which she applied her subject matter expertise to strategic corporate actions projects.
How did your early career experiences shape your view of the industry? Tell me a bit more about how you got involved in the financial services business – what attracted you to the industry?
While still in college, JPMorgan Belgium came on campus, looking for language skilled students to work in global custody. I landed an interview and was hired immediately. Between the time of the interview and graduation, JPMorgan Global Custody had been sold to Bank of New York. My very first challenge was an active participation in platform migration.
Describe some of the challenges you faced at the Capital Group and the successes that you achieved?
Coming from a global custodian and market infrastructure provider (Swift) to an asset manager, while there are many similarities, I was exposed to a different perspective, especially in the ways securities are viewed and processed. Now I was in a different part of the trade cycle, closer to the investor. Things like pricing, tracking, and even the handling of reference data were mission critical and more intense.
How did your experiences at Swift influence your career path?
While at Swift, I was always ‘preaching’ the correct use of standards, especially for securities. Implementing those standards is far more challenging than I thought!
Did your experiences at BNY Mellon spark your interest in the corporate actions environment?
Yes. I became very aware of the manual processing surrounding corporate actions and wanted to address and automate those issues.
Do you think the fact that you have worked on the user side of the industry has enriched your appreciation of the issues facing financial institutions in the market? How will you put your experiences to use in your new role?
(Yes) I absolutely feel the pain of investment managers having to deal with multiple notices from several custodians and data vendors, trying to make sense of it all.
Why did you choose to move to Information Mosaic and what do you hope to bring to the firm in terms of product innovation and development?
I regard Information Mosaic as the leader in the post-trade automation space. The tools they have built for such things as integration and user interfaces establishes a flexible environment that promotes innovation. The mobile technology applications Information Mosaic has built are good examples of this. My background, coupled with tools like these, will give me the opportunity to build on the success the company has achieved so far. Also, I like the people and the collaborative atmosphere they’ve established.
How do you see the future of the corporate actions market developing over the next five years? What part will XBRL have to play in this environment?
In developing ISO 20022, Swift addressed, among other areas, corporate actions, and specifically the vagueness of the old MT messages. The DTCC pilot for 20022, in which Information Mosaic has been involved, will be a good test for the use of the XML-based messages. The Swift community put a lot of thought into the development of the core message and has set clear rules around the use of extensions.
The intentions of XBRL for the use of corporate actions are good. To be able to meta-tag the key information in an announcement would, if adopted by the industry, certainly increase STP rates. Use and acceptance by the issuer community will be pivotal. Whether that requires a regulatory mandate or incentive for the issuer is still a big question mark.
Many in the industry have expressed scepticism about the future of XBRL in the European market – what is your perspective on this?
You do not have to be a Swift employee, or even an ex-Swift employee for that matter, to realise that ISO adoption has always been higher in Europe than in the US. Because of that, I think we will see ISO 20022 be more quickly taken up there than XBRL. That is not to say that XBRL could not be the eventual global standard one day.
What keeps you up at night – what concerns you in the industry at the moment?
On the personal side, you really don’t want to know. Professionally, I sometimes worry that the emphasis by some financial institutions to deliver results sometimes overshadows the need to properly deliver a project.
What is the most innovative and groundbreaking change that you have seen in your time in the financial services industry?
The migration from ISO 7775 to ISO 15022, for which I was responsible for Swift Americas, was, I think, I big step forward for the securities industry. In fact, it set the stage to where we are right now: the development of ISO 20022.
Which part of your career do you feel has been most rewarding thus far?
Not just a part of my career, but a major component that I enjoy is the travel. I’ve been exposed to so many different cultures, and have met such a diverse and interesting group of people, that it is almost a reward in itself.