At the roots of efficiency


From the concept of one-stop-shop to the holistic collaboration one (also in terms of value generation). How asset servicers rethink themselves, in the interview with Marco Mosca, Head of Coverage, Marketing and Solutions at Societe Generale Securities Services in Italy.

Starting from the most basic services such as custody and settlement to accompany clients, both retail and institutional, in a path of increasingly complex needs in challenging markets. The asset servicer’s role, which is today impossible to block in the term custodian in its traditional meaning, has changed and continues to change following asset owners, asset managers and distributors’ needs.

"Over the years we have experienced a development in investment products offer that at each stage has meant adding an increasingly specific level of detail. All this goes hand in hand with a search for efficiency, traditional for sectors with a very high rate of competitiveness", explains Marco Mosca.

Is this the reason why you focused your conference at the Salone del Risparmio on the concept of "efficiency"? What does this term mean today for an asset servicer?

It is certainly a multifaceted term connecting providers and clients in a common and continuous path.

Over the years, institutional clients have committed and adapted themselves to a field of continuous transformation, both from a regulatory and operational point of view. All this in a context in which reducing costs plays an increasingly important role.

Specialized asset servicers seized the opportunity to accompany the outsourcing of the core post-trading activities of the financial industry. From local transfer agency, which has developed together with the sub-placement model according to an offer that can be modulated between direct and indirect placement, up to integrating every aspect of distribution. Final objective, to offer a complete set of services allowing every institutional investor, regardless of nature and size, to find everything they need in one solution.

A great help comes from technology, which requires for those who implement it a great effort in identifying innovative solutions and strategic partnerships. At the same time, the opposite tension towards increasingly tailor-made solutions leads to wonder how much current models are scalable for an asset servicer.

Are they scalable?

To be sustainable and highly profitable, a change of perspective is essential. We need to create a flexible business model allowing us to shape the offer in addition to the relationship with our partners.

What does this mean in practice?

For us, it meant going down a road leading us to create a real one-stop-shop, with a very peculiar specificity. Maintaining our international identity allows us to directly access a large number of markets, but at the same time falling into specific contexts. In Italy, for example, to be close to clients, we are present with a bank under national law.

The same concept must be applied to the range of services offered, completed thanks to the recent partnership with MFEX by Euroclear. Our partners can access a pan-European platform dedicated to the distribution of funds, with the possibility to manage real time updates and access an integrated data analysis, which is now essential to improve operational set ups and protect the ability to generate profits.

Where is the change of perspective in the relationship between asset servicers, asset owners, asset managers and distributors?

In understanding that the maximum creation of efficiency from this system is achieved through an extended and continuous partnership relationship over time that allows not only a better understanding of mutual needs, but also to generate innovation and economic value to be shared. An opportunity we’ll discuss in our conference on Wednesday 11 May, 4.15 pm, at the next Salone del Risparmio.

Article published in Focus Risparmio on 3 May 2022.