Dear Partners, Clients, Friends and Colleagues,
An exciting year full of challenges and new opportunities is over. Regulatory changes; especially the AIFM Directive, and many new rules that will be affecting the post-trading world in the U.S. and the EU particularly, were a major focus in 2013.
But none of these external factors has distracted us at UniCredit from our commitment to be the top securities services provider in our markets. It has remained our foremost priority to ensure premium service to clients and to help them constantly improve delivery to their own clients. A main and widely appreciated characteristic of our customer service approach is the dedication of time to our clients’ questions and issues. Understanding that the additional obligations coming from the regulatory side create many new challenges for our clients; we have provided our team of experts with sufficient resources to fulfil these demands and to help them succeed.
The past year also brought a considerable change in the European securities services landscape with the departure of a major player, leading to a reshuffle in mandates. UniCredit GSS has proven its capacity to step in and react quickly by mitigating the uncertainties that arose among market users. Consequently, we have been awarded with a significant number of new mandates, both domestic and cross border.
2013 was also the year of substantial improvements on the IT side, of which I can proudly report. We are about to launch a major upgrade to our GWS platform, allowing remote instruction entry among other new facilities. We have launched our T2S development, with the business and IT specifications being finalised this year, as we structure our services to allow clients the flexibility of a business as usual model through to asset servicing support in that future environment. Moreover, we are seeking to enhance our collateral management offering, a project which will be continued this year. On top of that, we have fine-tuned our web offering further, resulting in a unified image vis-à-vis clients, irrespective of the locations they use. Combined with our initiative on common account opening documentation as well as a streamlining of settlement and corporate action deadlines, this is a remarkable success for our team.
As far as risk management is concerned, we have extended our risk policy to accommodate the increased liability we assume under the AIFMD regulations. We have also added clauses to address a series of other issues, some of them referring to U.S. requirements, others stemming from EU regulations but also some of local origin. In this respect I would like to emphasise that we at UniCredit GSS retain a clear focus on risk management, which is best reflected in our zero tolerance policy regarding any failure in operational or credit management.
In the name of the UniCredit GSS team I would like to thank you for your trust and confidence throughout the past year and the years before. A big thank you to the several clients who have decided to return to us after reviews in our markets. And in particular, I would like to welcome the many clients that have recently mandated us. We are determined to live up to your expectations to the full. Let me wish you all the best for a prosperous 2014. UniCredit’s GSS team is delighted to be at your side and looks forward to working with you and contributing to your success.
Global Head of GSS