October 14, 2021
SIFMA SmartBrief Operations & Technology
News on the capital markets for operations and technology professionals
Top Story
Among financial firms surveyed by Citigroup, 44% expect equity markets to shorten settlement to T+1 during the next five years. Financial firms have called for a transition from T+2 to T+1 to lighten the workload for middle and back offices.
Full Story: Traders (10/13),  Global Investor (subscription required) (10/11) 
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Operations Update
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley accounted for nearly 46% of global trading of stocks and bonds in the first half of the year, according to Bloomberg-compiled data, gaining market share from European rivals. "The biggest US banks have been able to capture more than their fair share as they leverage both relationship and technology," Barclays analyst Jason Goldberg says. "I don't see them going backward."
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (10/5) 
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Suni Harford, president of UBS Asset Management, led the firm to achieve a return on attributed equity of 74.2% in 2020, a significant rise from 29.7% in 2019, and she attributes the success to a positive attitude toward flexible work arrangements. "Continuing to focus on the health and safety of our staff around the globe is something that will continue long after we're back to the 'new normal,'" she said. SIFMA welcomes Suni Harford as a featured speaker at its Annual Meeting on Nov. 2.
Full Story: American Banker (10/6) 
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Banks will likely need to cooperate with tech firms and regulators to create the infrastructure needed to stay competitive in offering digital assets, executives told a Sibos webinar. Panelists noted that traditional banks will have to implement institutional cultural change in order to keep up with the pace of digital and blockchain innovation.
Full Story: Global Investor (subscription required) (10/13) 
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Technology Update
With the economy emerging from the pandemic slowdown, Goldman Sachs is concentrating its efforts on technology deals with a particular focus on synthetic biology, quantum computing, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence, according to the firm's investment banking co-head Dan Dees. "We're doubling down on everything in technology right now," he said.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (10/13) 
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While JPMorgan Chase has posted an outstanding third-quarter earnings report, Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Barnum says rising costs are likely to be a challenge in 2022. JPMorgan is investing heavily in performance wages and technology to compete with fintechs, and CEO Jamie Dimon says the bank "will spend whatever we have to spend to compete with all these folks in our space."
Full Story: Financial Times (subscription required) (10/13),  BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (10/13) 
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A bankwide team has been formed by UBS CEO Ralph Hamers to boost use of artificial intelligence and data analytics in operations. The launch of the team is part of an initiative by Hamers to use technology to cut costs and improve UBS' ability to attract wealthy clients.
Full Story: Bloomberg (10/12) 
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Regulatory and Legislative Update
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles will vacate his position as the nation's highest-ranking supervisor of major banks today with the official expiration of his title, the Fed said in a statement. At the same time he will cease to be chairman of the central bank's supervisory committee.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (10/12),  Reuters (10/12) 
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Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler wants to examine firms' current digital engagement practices and establish a differentiation between a psychological nudge and investment advice. "Even if certain practices might not meet the current definition of recommendation, I believe they raise a question as to whether there are some appropriate investor protection guardrails to consider, beyond simply the application of antifraud rules," Gensler said.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (10/12) 
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The White House reportedly is considering an executive order that requires regulators to develop a far-reaching strategy for overseeing cryptocurrency trading. The directive would focus on issues including financial regulation, economic innovation and national security and would allocate responsibilities to various agencies and oblige them to cooperate.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (10/8),  Reuters (10/8) 
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Registration is open for SIFMA's 2021 Annual Meeting! Join us virtually on November 2 for discussions at the intersection of public policy and finance. Featured speakers include Walt Bettinger, President and CEO of The Charles Schwab Corporation; Marty Flanagan, President and CEO of Invesco US; Gary Gensler, Chair of the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission; and Suni Harford, President, UBS Asset Management and UBS Group Executive Board Sponsor for Sustainability and Impact. Registration is complimentary for all employees of SIFMA member firms and financial industry regulators. Is your firm a SIFMA member? Check our Member Directory.
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The pandemic has put technology at the forefront of the financial-services industry -- transforming the way firms, advisors, clients, managers and employees work. However, with this evolution comes new risks and vulnerabilities. That is why SIFMA and its members remain diligent and focused on cybersecurity efforts to protect clients, data, networks and operations from diverse cyber threats including theft, disruption and destruction. As we recognize October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we explore SIFMA's cybersecurity efforts on behalf of our members to protect our markets and our clients in this increasingly interconnected and digital world.
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