Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Where are the investment managers?

Boston is not only host to Sibos. It is also the investment management capital of North America. Where are the investment management firms, asks guest blogger Rob Hegarty, managing director, securities & investments, TowerGroup.

One would think that by holding Sibos in Boston, the representation from investment firms would be significant…hardly. A paltry 2.8% of the attendees here are from fund companies. Given the location – Boston is arguably the investment management capital of North America – one would expect a better turnout from the fund business.

For that matter, the entire securities industry is under-represented here at Sibos. While SWIFT derives more than half of its revenue from the securities industry, only 28% of the 7,500 attendees are from the securities industry. Let’s go, securities industry! Make yourself heard in a place where you matter!

But enough of my rant. On a more positive note, the sessions on the securities industry were thought provoking and informative. We heard about the need to get more fund companies buying into SWIFT as a solution, and how simplifying the usage of SWIFT is the key to this adoption – even though we all know the fund companies will buy in when someone else picks up the tab!

The prices changes covered by my colleague, Ted Iacobuzio, on this blog earlier today also demonstrate a commitment to value for service. We also heard the new CEO, Lazaro Campos, say that “Securities remains the engine of growth” for SWIFT, and that it applies to all client types, enforcing SWIFT’s commitment to the industry even as they reorganise on regions instead of products.

And the session on the Securities Landscape 2013 provided an interesting view into the future of the industry, post global expansion and consolidation. Finally, there is a clear message coming from SWIFT: We know we’re not the only game in town. There is an overarching theme of competition for SWIFT, with frequent references to their 'competitors' and the 'competitive landscape.'

Maybe the hyper-active competition in the global evolution of financial markets is putting SWIFT on a new fast track? Only time will tell, but the prospects certainly look promising.

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