Opinion & Analysis

After nine years of planning, the first stage of a major new pan-European infrastructure project went live in June this year. Target2-Securities (T2S), whose logo is “settling without borders”, is an initiative of the Eurosystem (the European Central Bank and the central banks of the eurozone member states).

What is T2S and what do investors need to know about it?

What is T2S?

T2S is a project designed to rationalise and harmonise Europe’s system of securities settlement.

With the Rugby World Cup here in England, new light is being shone on what a tactical game rugby has become in recent years. The strengths and weaknesses of each side are being stretched to the limit and then scrutinised by the world. The ability to make the right call, at the right time (whether to kick for touch or take the penalty being an appropriate example for many England fans) is crucial. Assessing the positive outcomes against the associated risks is what it boils down to, and this has proven too much for some in the midst of the action.

It was ironic that the first Transparency Symposium organized by the Transparency Task Force - an organization dedicated to driving up the levels of transparency in financial services - should take place in London on the same day as it emerged that members of the Investment Association had forced Daniel Godfrey to step down as chief executive. After all, one of the issues on which Godfrey had irked the members of the Association was his openness to the idea of greater disclosure of asset management, administration and transaction costs.

As investors broaden their horizons, they increasingly require expert knowledge of the local financial infrastructure in the markets in which they invest. The network manager—originally the title for a largely administrative function at global custodian banks—has risen to prominence as a result.

Marie Ellis, assistant director at Thomas Murray Data Services, explains what a network manager does and why this role is taking on increasing importance.

What is a network manager?

Who needs a contingent custodian?  Many funds and regulators have been examining fall-back plans for the failure of a key service provider, like the custodian bank. Steve Merry, director at Thomas Murray IDS, explains why contingent custody is a topic we’ll all be hearing more about.

Steve, what is a contingent custodian and what purpose does it serve?