Easing the flows

Taskize CEO, FinOps, Operations, Technology

Inter-company workflows during post-trade processing can be complicated and error-prone. However, Taskize ensures that operations run smoothly by automatically identifying the right person to contact in counterparty firms and enabling secure sharing of information and documentation, while keeping all parties informed on a task’s status at any given time.

Workflows between companies involved in the post-trade processing of securities transactions – such as settlement, custody, exceptions management and corporate actions – are complex. Despite the financial services industry’s focus on digitalisation, the reality is that back-office operational workflows still involve significant manual input with insufficient automation and straight-through-processing.

When working across firms, the first challenge is the most basic – finding the right person to contact in the counterparty organisation. Vital time is wasted trying to find the person, in the right role, with the right authority, to address the issue or query.

Even after identifying the right person to contact, many things can go wrong along the way. Documents may lack certain information or contain errors. Phone calls can result in long waiting times on hold. Emails can be misdirected, not be read in time, or simply not read at all. Instructions may not be followed correctly.

With many steps involved in each trade, each having to be completed in sequence and in a timely manner, even the simplest transaction can quickly turn into a nightmare. Banks, asset managers, brokers, custodians, central clearing counterparties (CCPs), central securities depositories (CSDs) and other organisations involved in securities services have to spend a great deal of time and effort to ensure they get things right. The risks are high and the consequences significant if any post-trade process is erroneous, is delayed, or fails.

The Bank of England, in its Future of Post-Trade report, identified a number of “particularly time-consuming, costly, or unreliable aspects of post-trade processes”, which it described as “pinch points” .

For example, in the processing of uncleared margins and collateral, “non-standard processes hold back automated processing, leading to operational risks and disputes, which are often dealt with via protracted bilateral communications, often email”.

Other factors that reduce the efficiency of post-trade activities include non-standardised data collection pre-trade; slow or incomplete data transfer between trading parties; and a lack of consistent protocols for handling exceptions (errors) that prevent transactions from being fully processed.

These complexities and inefficiencies result in high process latency, rising costs and pose real risks to operational resilience. So how can participants in the post-trade world address these processing inefficiencies, bottlenecks and risks?

The solution

The solution is Taskize. Taskize is the inter-company workflow solution specifically designed for financial services. Taskize brings together everyone in the value chain across organisations, enabling them to work collaboratively, in a more standardised, secure and efficient way.

To begin, the Taskize Smart Directory™ enables users to rapidly assign requests or obligations to the right person in the right firm, along the entire chain.

For each process, Taskize creates a workspace for the duration of that process, known as a Taskize Bubble™. This is a highly secure workspace, accessed only by authorised individuals from counterparty firms involved in the specific task at hand. Bubble features include Side Notes for privately sharing information with only certain colleagues or counterparties; the Bubble Blotter to manage work stacks, providing real-time oversight over issues received, progressing, and resolved; a Flag which is passed on among workflow participants to clearly indicate who is responsible for the next action; and Escalation to indicate important jobs that take priority over others.

Counterparties who are not on the Taskize network are also able to communicate through its integrated email solution. With Taskize, the current limitations of email – such as disparate, bilateral conversations and the lack of clarity over task ownership and status – are eliminated. To find out more details on Taskize’s features and functionality, request a demo here.

Taskize ensures the smooth running of workflows between all parties involved in the post-trade process. Taskize can be applied to workflows of all kinds – from the simplest and most common, to the most complex. Firms have been successfully using Taskize both to resolve day-to-day operational problems such as breaks in the settlement process, collateral queries, corporate action issues and tax queries, as well as to manage highly critical matters, such as regulatory compliance, margin disputes and complex investigations.

Taskize was founded in 2012 and is now used by around 250 companies in 50 countries. Included within the Taskize ecosystem are not only sell-side and buy-side firms, brokers and custodians, but also major CSDs like Euroclear and DTCC, and clearing house LCH. Taskize also integrates with financial technologies, such as Symphony secure communications, Duco reconciliations, and others. Request the full list of firms on the Taskize network here.

Use case: Exception Management Workflow

One of the most valuable ways firms have been using Taskize is to streamline their post-trade exception and dispute management workflow.

Post-trade exceptions are recognised as one of the industry’s main pinch points, with the Bank of England noting it as among the most time-consuming, costly and unreliable aspects of post-trade processing.

Addressing exceptions requires a coordinated effort by multiple firms – currently each with their own unique process, protocols, roles and hierarchies – to work seamlessly together. Often the individuals involved do not know each other, and are also concurrently addressing other issues with other firms, often across time zones. Getting to a resolution is slow, complex and cumbersome.

With Taskize, exception management is streamlined and secure. As each exception is raised, a secure Bubble is created. Each issue can have its own Bubble. The Smart Directory identifies the right individuals in counterparty firms to invite into the Bubble, eliminating endless phone calls and emails. Multiple counterparties can be invited into the Bubble – simultaneously if needed – to address even the most complex issues.

Within the secure confines of the Bubble, information and documentation can be shared securely between counterparties. Tasks can be agreed and automatically allocated to those with capacity to deal with it, with a Flag passed around to indicate who holds responsibility for the next action, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. Tasks can be passed on across time zones, with the full history of the issue available to those picking up the issue as their market opens.

All communications and exchanges on the issue are held within the Bubble, ensuring an auditable documentary trail, which can easily be connected to each party’s legal compliance system. Information can be shared on a need-to-know basis, or can be made visible to all. Files and documents can be shared and updated, ensuring everyone has the latest version to hand.

Firms outside of the Taskize network can also be involved, as Taskize has enhanced email functionality, that allows email communications to be linked seamlessly in a Bubble.

Should issues need to be escalated or reallocated, this can be done via the Bubble Blotter, within predefined escalation parameters.

Once the issue is resolved and the Bubble is closed, final documentation on the exception is shared with all participants.

Results

Firms using Taskize for exception management have benefited from significant improvements to exception management workflows. Clients have reported:

  • a reduction in issue resolution time of up to 70%
  • 50% of issues resolved within 24 hours
  • an increase in team productivity of up to 300%

About Taskize

Taskize is the industry leader in operations workflow for financial services. Seamlessly interact with all your counterparties via the Taskize network, the largest of its kind, via a secure, cloud-based service or through email. Use Taskize to gain efficiency and control, and make work flow easily.

If you would like to learn more about how Taskize can help your organisation, request a demo or meeting here.

 

Note 1: The Future of Post-Trade 2020, The Bank of England, www.bankofengland.co.uk, Accessed 20 August 2020