In other news, ex-SEC Chair Clayton joins an advisory board, ING fills a new post, Citi scores a first, and Academy Securities taps Jefferies.
State Street to Exit Midtown Manhattan
The Boston-based State Street will be closing its midtown Manhattan offices and embracing a hybrid working model in response to staff members that have been working remotely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a prepared statement from the custodian banking giant.
“Like most other companies, we have seen our employees adapt quickly to working remotely, and we intend to capture and adopt the new ways of working that have arisen,” according to the statement. “To accommodate our hybrid workforce, we have taken a diligent look at our real estate footprint in NYC and ensuring that our realty needs are in line with where our employees will be working.”
The analysis led the firm to the decision announced to employees in May that it “plans to close our 1290 and 1040 Avenue of the Americas [Sixth Avenue] offices, while adding a shared workspace in Manhattan,” the statement continues. “As their work requires, employees who previously worked in these spaces also have workspace in nearby Tri-State office buildings in Stamford, CT; Clifton, NJ; and Princeton, NJ.”
The firm is not changing its commitment to clients, business lines, corporate functions, and colleagues “who work and live in New York City and the surrounding area,” according to the statement.
“We absolutely see the value for having physical space in the area that serves as a hub for employees and clients in the NYC area, but we also know this is a tremendous opportunity to reimagine and redesign the workplace in a very fit-for-purpose way that improves performance, productivity and our employees’ experience,” according to officials. “There will be no change to how we service clients in the city and surrounding area. We are happy our NYC-area employees, including members of our global executive leadership team who call New York home, have welcomed and are embracing our hybrid working model.” — EMG
Ex-SEC Chair Clayton Joins Fireblocks Board
Jay Clayton, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has joined the Fireblocks advisory board, the digital asset custody provider reports.
Clayton’s mandate includes helping the company and its customers “navigate the evolving market and regulatory dynamics affecting the development and deployment of solutions for the emerging digital asset infrastructure.”
Clayton was “among the first SEC Chairpersons to carefully consider the status of digital assets within the context of the U.S. securities law framework,” the vendor points out in its statement.
In a recent op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Clayton and Brent McIntosh, a former undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury, “cautioned policy makers against the risk of both overregulation and underregulation of cryptocurrencies, while recommending lawmakers use a ‘function-based’ approach to apply existing financial regulations to new financial technologies,” Fireblocks notes
“Existing regulatory frameworks provide the tools to address many of the risks of new technologies without stifling their promise,” Clayton and McIntosh wrote in the op-ed, per Fireblocks. “If applying these frameworks reveals outdated requirements, such as a mandate to use paper records or other outmoded technologies, including for governmental functions such as recording mortgages and security interests, then regulators should remove them.” — L.Ch
ING Appoints a Chief Transformation Officer
Dutch multinational bank ING reports the appointment of Marnix van Stiphout as chief operations officer (COO) and chief transformation officer. He also will join the management board banking.
He joins on the first of September 2021, succeeding Roel Louwhoff, who recently stepped down from the management board banking.
Van Stiphout joined ING in 1998, starting started in global equity markets sales and research in London and in 2008 became global head of value chain management for ING Financial Markets. — L.Ch
Citi Is First FCM to Link to ICE Clear Europe
Citi became the first futures commission merchant (FCM) to link to ICE Clear Europe via a new connection to the exchange operator Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) created by Baton Systems, which helps clearing firms automate collateral management across five central counterparty clearing houses (CCPs).
The Baton network offers connections among exchange operators, FCMs, custodians and banks. ICE Clear Europe is the first member of the ICE Group to join the Baton platform, officials say.
FCMs that sign up to use Baton’s network of CCPs “will now be able to automate and optimize collateral holdings and expedite the movement of cash and securities with the CCPs … These firms include the world’s largest financial institutions, responsible for managing 43 percent of the funds held by global CCPs,” according to the vendor’s statement.
Using Baton for automated collateral management allows market participants to access CCP account balances and acceptable collateral lists on-demand and view all assets deposited at external custody banks and CCPs. FCMs can also be automatically alerted to changes and introduce zero-friction workflows to optimize allocation and accelerate productivity by instructing multiple cash and securities movements via the Baton interface.
Citi’s collateral management team “can now access information in real-time and dynamically manage our inventory of eligible collateral across the network of CCPs we interact with the most, which enables us to better serve our clients,” says
Mariam Rafi, managing director, Americas head of clearing and FXPB and global head of financial resource management, futures, clearing and FXPB, in a prepared statement.
“What we are now seeing is a real shift in the collateral management landscape,” says former CFTC Chair J. Christopher Giancarlo, who is now a senior advisor for Baton. “The world’s largest FCMs are connecting directly with the world’s largest CCPs — this means that for the first time in history it will be possible for a significant proportion of the total collateral held with CCPs globally to be automatically optimized. … As the network expands, the benefits derived by all participants are only likely to increase. This presents huge potential for the industry as a whole to eliminate unnecessary risks.” — EMG
Academy Securities Hires Two from Jefferies
Academy Securities, a broker-dealer, reports the addition of David Gagnon and Chris Bury to its fixed income sales and trading group. Their mandate includes being instrumental in leading the growth of Academy’s rates platform, the firm says in a statement.
Academy Securities points out that it also is a certified disabled veteran business enterprise and minority business enterprise.
Gagnon joins managing director, head of U.S. treasury trading. For the past 12 years, he was a senior vice president at Jefferies.
Bury joins as managing director of fixed income, also joining from Jefferies, where he was a managing director, head of U.S. rates trading and sales and relative value rates trading for more than 10 years. — L.Ch