Could pilot projects involving the use of a distributed database for the issue, transfer and settlement of securities herald a wider rethink of the way financial market trades are recorded?

Ever since they found prime brokers reneging on margin agreements in the early stages of the financial crisis in 2007, hedge fund managers have worried about their exposures to the investment banks.


•                    4.8 million people who are aware of the pension reforms do not intend to take all or part of their pension as a lump sum

•                    1.3 million over 55s do not intend to take out a cash lump sum as a result of the changes

•                    More than 12 million adults in the UK are still unaware of the changes

•                    Confidence levels towards the reforms are considerably higher amongst future retirees: 75% of 18 - 44 year olds intend to take out a cash lump-sum when they retire

The rules around asset safekeeping are something that pension funds and other asset owners should make themselves fully aware of. In the European Union (EU), the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and UCITS V are radically overhauling asset safekeeping obligations at the sub-custodian level. The rule changes in effect provide end investors with protection against a default or major credit event at their sub-custodian, a protection that is not typically available to investors in segregated or managed accounts.

A UK pension scheme recently hired Thomas Murray IDS to benchmark the fees it pays to its global custodian bank.  The benchmarking results (involving minimal effort on the part of the scheme) suggested that fees were approximately 20% higher than Thomas Murray IDS would expect it to be paying based on a comparison with a peer group.