(Pictured: Tony Freeman)
Omgeo, the global transactions systems company now owned by the US Government-owned DTCC, has appointed a new chief executive, Paula Arthus. The appointment is seen as a reflection of the evolution of Omgeo to become more of an industry utility.
Omgeo was previously a joint venture between DTCC (the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation) and the publishers Thomson Reuters. Marianne Brown, the former chief executive, left the firm not long after the takeover to become chief operating officer of the big systems company SunGard. Arthur previously worked at DTCC.
Tony Freeman, visiting Australia last week for Omgeo’s six-monthly advisory council meeting of clients, said a good example of the “new Omgeo” was the recent move to turn the company’s “product alert” into an industry utility whose pricing would be set by a governance committee rather than Omgeo management.
Freeman, the London-based head of investor relations, said there was a big trend in the US for banks to look at the parts of their operations which did not add value and to put these into a communally owned utility, such as Omgeo.
“That’s a big agenda for Wall Street right now because the banks are not making much money out of equity trading,” he said.
Freeman was complimentary of Australia’s move to a T+2 settlement cycle for share transactions, as announced last month, but he warned that managers would probably have to roster staff on through the night in case problems occur with trades.
“If you have a mismatch with a counterparty, for instance, you will need to speak with someone, which will be in the middle of the night, Australian time, if you’re doing a European transaction,” he said. “Going to two days, rather than three, tends to make problems more critical… But it will reduce risk and costs. It will also drive automation and efficiency on the buy side.”