Continuously growing levels of shareholder participation, for example through proxy voting at general shareholder meetings, is just one of the operational challenges facing todays asset servicing firms. A panel in the Optic conference looked into the issues they need to solve to be ready for their future. 

Will market standards be enough to drive the change that asset servicing needs to become efficient enough? An analog (stand/sit) poll of the room at the Optic event on Tuesday, indicated that many market participants actually believe in a need for more regulation – despite the pains many organisations go through when they have to implement them all. 

Speakers on the panel were …
Krasimira Rayanova, Director, Head of Asset Servicing Product Development, Clearstream,
Michael Collier, Executive Director, International Head of Asset Services, Product Management, Securities Services, J.P. Morgan,
Michael McPolin, Managing Director, Market Advocacy & Business Change, Broadridge, and
Teresa Afonso, Product Manager – Asset Servicing global product and Regulatory Solutions, BNP Paribas,
under moderation by Marcello Topa, Market Policy and Strategy Director, Citi Securities Services.


“Unfortunately, we haven’t got a great track record on self-regulation,” says Michael McPolin, in relation to the discussion on SRD II, the shareholders rights directive. But on regulation, he pointed out that it needs to take a life-cycle perspective rather than zoom in on one type of stakeholder at a time. Requiring issuers to deliver high-quality data at the start of the information chain is a good start – as a basis for intermediaries who will be obliged to passing it on.

The yearly Optic conference, in Brussels on 17–18 October 2023, is hosted by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME). Optic stands for the “Operations, post trade, technology and innovation conference”. PostTrade 360° is there, with our coverage collected here.