Industry News

Paul Migliore Speaks at ISITC's 23rd Annual Vendor Show


Citisoft attended last week's ISITC Annual Vendor Show in Boston, MA. The theme of the conference was "The Politics of Financial Change" with a focus on how political changes can introduce both challenges and opportunities for the financial services industry.

The general session was an all-day affair, kicking off with keynote speaker David Gergen, Senior Political Analyst at CNN. Having served as advisor to four presidents, Mr. Gergen was an impressive addition to ISITC's history of keynotes. Mr. Gergen discussed the challenges of the new administration to build out its structure with the appropriate level of expertise to be able to effectively address a series of tough decisions. Enacting any level of change in areas such as healthcare, tax reform, and deregulation will require time and some compromise.

The next panel, "How Economic and Political Changes Are Affecting the Financial Industry," leveraged the keynote topics for a more targeted deep dive into the administration's impact specific to the financial industry. This panel included three speakers: Paul Migliore, Citisoft CEO, John Lehner, EVP of IMS at State Street, and Dominic Garcia, Senior Fund of Funds Manager at State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Tim Lind, Principal at RTech Advisors, served as moderator. The main discussion revolved around the topics of IM trends, regulatory impacts, changes to standards, buy-side needs vs. service provider support, and the industry reaction to the introduction of AI/robotics.

Dominic Garcia used a historical account to underscore that institutional investors can no longer rely upon old models to meet required returns; thriving in a low-return environment requires creativity. This could prompt the industry to move organically towards alternative investments, and service providers must be able to support non-traditional assets.

Paul Migliore echoed this point, stating that many vendors are actively solving for the complexities in different asset classes driving the evolution of operations and IT. The demand for fast and accurate structured and unstructured data, combined with regulatory reporting requirements, requires data to be centralized with demonstrated standards, controls, and security. Although this has a cost component, buy-side transparency has a positive impact on the investment community and keeps client confidence high.

The remainder of the conference's general session included a series of panels and discussions on topics of focus in the industry today, including a distributed ledger technology panel featuring participants from DTCC, SWIFT, Paxos, and Citi. The panel concentrated on progress being made with a series of use cases being leveraged to facilitate peer-to-peer communication and transparency through the digitization of securities. This DLT panel resonated with the audience in articulating some of expected impacts to operational functions, specifically around settlement. Other forward-looking panels included the topics of cybercrime and security, robotics and AI, and robo-advisor impacts on operations.

The caliber of speakers at the vendor conference demonstrated that ISITC is making strides towards evolving and adapting to industry trends by providing a quality agenda for conference attendees. With the current rate of industry change, the expected shift to alternative investments, and the accelerated progression of new technologies, it will be critical for ISITC to continue to provide a forum to educate its members on the latest industry initiatives and enable collaboration to identify and react to the resulting complexities.

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