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Avi Ghosh, Head of Strategic Marketing & Communications, SIX Securities Services 

As you walk the halls of the Metro Convention Centre, you’d be hard pressed to miss the financial giants along the way. Barclays. Bank of America. Citi. HSBC and more.

It’s clear that the ability to scale is what has led to these institutions being positioned as leaders in the financial space, and as a result, have dominant market shares. However, when we think about the post-trade world specifically, is scale really necessary, and if so, what should scale actually mean? That’s the question, that Thomas Zeeb, (SIX Securities Services), Richard Schwartz (Global Custodian), N. Ganapathy Subramaniam (Tata Consultancy Services), Christopher Church (Digital Asset) and Glenn Goucher (TMX), set out to debate.

Times are changing and we’re in the midst of yet another technological revolution – distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence and big data, to mention a few, are all changing the world of finance as we know it and the post-trade world is no exception. So with an abundance of new technologies at our fingertips, perhaps “we need to redefine what scale means”, in the words of Thomas Zeeb.

At SIX Securities Services, our key aim is to provide value to our clients, via whichever technology or process that might be. We are finding, increasingly, that scale in the traditional sense doesn’t come into the equation. Instead, the ‘new scale’ is about providing fast and effective solutions to their problems and being able to roll these out quickly and expertly with a dedicated team.

In a sneak preview of our industry-wide research launching later in the year, we’ve already confirmed our on-the ground experience to be true. 65% of financial organisations think that “value” from their post-trade provider in the future will be “validation of new technologies”, so clearly, the question of scale in the traditional sense is no longer what clients are looking for in their choice of a post-trade provider.

Richard Schwartz opened the session with the famous quote “the future usually arrives before we’re ready for it”. But we’re in a unique position today. We know that the future of post-trade is going to be providing value in the form of technology guidance, and not necessarily “scale” in the traditional sense, so we must continue to service our clients’ evolving needs with this firmly in the forefront of our efforts.