Last week we held our 6th Annual Reconciliations & Exception Management conference in New York City. Upon arriving at the event, our chairperson, Dayle Scher of StateStreet, took a quick walk down memory lane and told me how she remembered participating in the 1st Annual Recs Conference back in September of 2006. And now here she was back to chair the event 6 years later joking about how not too much has changed for reconciliations since then. So she started her opening remarks with just that thought, “Is anything new in Reconciliations?”
Sticking with this theme, I was intrigued when someone at the conference commented to me that there is a lot of talk about what’s wrong with reconciliations but no one is really providing solutions to the problems. It didn’t look that way to me because, after listening throughout the day to our esteemed array of speakers and panelists talking about what is really happening in the industry and opining on what is needed in the Recs world, it seemed that there were a lot of solutions to be considered. (So, just as a hint for all the vendors out there, it sounds like Bank Debt and Bank Loans are the most troubling reconciliations issue according to our panelists, and again, there seems to be no solid solution. Also, when it comes to exception management, it’s important to have a vendor who really focuses on the post-reconciliations workflow.)
Discussions also turned to other topics and it became clear that firms and banks need to make their processes more efficient before they jump into automation. Also, it was interesting to note that while 10 years ago outsourcing was driven by lowered costs, it is now driven by the need to make the Recs processes smoother. On a more global front, it was stated that the US may follow Europe on the T+2 framework front and, in theory, the T+2 concept developed in Europe might be a real model you could actually follow. So imagine T+2 becoming a national standard and maybe there should be a little thought going into what changes that would bring to your firm and your role within the firm. Possibly something we will need to talk about in more detail at next year’s event.
Overall, it was a great day and many were able to walk away with new ideas on handling their reconciliations. As one panelist commented, “Just because you’re not losing billions does not make Recs any less important or necessary.” So that’s all for now… or until next year and the 7th Annual event!
And thanks to all the exhibitors and sponsors at this event! This year we were pleased to have Omgeo, Sterci, Cosmos Technologies, Fiserv, SunGard, GBP Financial Solutions, eClerx and TriOptima.