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De-risking corporate actions processing: getting the right mix of expertise and technology

08 January 2020

In early December, IHS Markit was named Best Corporate Actions Data Provider in the Data Management Insight Awards. Published by the influential A-Team Group, Data Management Insight is a leading trade magazine covering capital markets data and technology.

Our Managed Corporate Actions (MCA) service offers a centralized source of validated corporate actions data for over 3 million equities, fixed income and structured securities, across 170 countries and territories.

Industry wide, processing corporate actions is one of the most complex and manual processes in financial institutions. Estimates of losses due to missed or mismanaged corporate actions are hard to come by, but consensus is that over $1 billion is lost every year. In a study, Adox Research found that 60% of firms are still at the lowest levels of automation in the corporate actions function.

"Taking the risk out of corporate actions processing is the perfect challenge for IHS Markit, said Ankush Zutshi, product head for Corporate Actions at IHS Markit. How we combine our data management capabilities, technology and global team of specialist validators is very difficult to replicate. Getting this right reduces financial and reputational risk for our customers."

The MCA service, acquired by IHS Markit in 2013, operates around the clock and from five global centers (up from three in 2013): Singapore, India, London, New York and Dallas. 100 experts are part of the Corporate Actions team and 20 languages are supported by the service.

The industry has responded to the enhanced service we provide. Today about 150 global firms, including banks, hedge funds, asset managers, investment banks, brokers, and insurance companies use the service (up from around 50 in 2013).

"Corporate actions processing is highly dependent on expert reconciliation and validation of multiple sources of data," explains JD Singh, head of sales and business development, for Managed Corporate Actions at IHS Markit. "We handle all aspects of a very operationally intensive, risk-prone process on behalf of financial institutions across the globe which depend on us for error free processing of corporate actions and data feeds to improve their portfolio and risk management."

For asset managers, the service maps, normalizes and consolidates announcement information, enhancing vendor records and resolving conflicting information to provide customers with a single validated, golden record of corporate actions.

MCA also caters to specific data needs of brokerages and investment banks arising from market making and proprietary trading as well as margin, leveraged financing, rehypothecation and securities finance in prime brokerage.

Last year, the service processed more than 33 million corporate actions events on behalf of customers.

"We offer customers maximum choice and flexibility in designing their solution. They select the data vendors with which they want to work, giving them control over cost, while we provide the quality by cleansing and validating the incoming data," continued Singh.

In 2019, MCA launched a new user interface offering calendar views and tools for custom reporting and scheduling, providing customers with an improved, more intuitive user experience.

For 2020, IHS Markit is focusing on onboarding more mid-size asset manager clients onto its software as a service for corporate actions processing, which is fully integrated with MCA validated data and delivers the benefits of its proven, powerful processing software in a fully-hosted environment configured to industry best practices. For investment banks and large asset managers, the firm recently launched a comprehensive Agent Validation managed service. This comes in response to customer demand for a broader solution to validate not only corporate actions data but also firm-specific information, such as custodian data, to create holistic golden records and improve data quality and reduce operational risk throughout the enterprise. By reducing the need to perform multiple data checks and reconciliations, Agent Validation helps customers redeploy operations teams to other functions.

For more information contact: JD Singh:

IHS Markit provides industry-leading data, software and technology platforms and managed services to tackle some of the most difficult challenges in financial markets. We help our customers better understand complicated markets, reduce risk, operate more efficiently and comply with financial regulation.

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