Last February, CACEIS took part in the FundsPeople* event in Spain. The event coincided with the first anniversary of Santander Securities Services joining the Group. Key topics for CACEIS, such as digitalisation, opportunities in other financial centres like Luxembourg, and prospects for private equity investments, were a focus of the discussions.
CACEIS is the benchmark player in Spain. It is the leading local custodian with a market share of 22%, looking after €650bn in client assets. In addition, CACEIS Bank in Spain ranks number one in terms of independent fund managers (i.e. those not tied to a banking group), with a market share of 41%.
The week-long event opened with an interview of Elena Mesonero, Head of Regional Coverage for Spain and Latin America, and was followed by various roundtable discussions involving expert staff from CACEIS Bank in Spain.
- Digitalisation: The key technological developments over recent years: What new digital services are we offering to asset managers? What new digital factors have fund managers faced over the last few years, in terms of risk, web marketing, etc.?
Montserrat Dominguez, Head of Operations in Spain, explained how CACEIS is currently co-working with clients to streamline operational communication, in order to raise efficiency and reduce time-to-market. “In parallel, we are reviewing all internal processes in order to take advantage of technological advances in robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence, along with other key digital initiatives”.
- ESG: How a depositary can assist asset managers in meeting objectives across the environmental, social and governance.
Cristina Gómez, Head of Business Solutions, said that Depositaries should be considered complementary to, and an extension of the asset managers’ efforts in meeting ESG targets. CACEIS is developing a modular service offering in combination with industry-leading ESG information providers to suit each client’s individual needs.
- Private equity and Alternative Funds: What is the added value of the depositary for private equity funds? How has the role of the depositary changed now that alternative and infrastructure assets etc. are a regular feature of managers’ portfolios?
Alfonso de Pablos, Head of Depositary, described how CACEIS is providing expert support to asset managers dealing with promising but complex investment funds, from a legal, product and service standpoint, leveraging our extensive experience from key centres of excellence across the wider European CACEIS group network.
- How we can help asset managers develop their business: How do asset managers promote products via their own website? How do they market their products abroad? What services do they require from our Luxembourg branch or from other jurisdictions within our network?
Alejandro de Los Ojos, Head of Sales & Relationship Management, talked about two main topics : the forthcoming revision of the AIFMD, and efforts to gain authorisation for the use of omnibus accounts in Spain. Alejandro reaffirmed that CACEIS is fully equipped to assist Spanish fund managers in diversifying their product range across a large number of jurisdictions.
The financial sector is undergoing major transformation which is impacting asset management across the world, the €390bn Spanish market being no exception. The challenges faced are significant: an uncertain economic outlook, stock-market volatility, negative fee pressure (actively managed products losing ground to passive), new regulations (including ESG taxonomy), new technology uptake, new information sources, efficient access to big data, instant client communication, etc..
“As an industry-leading fund depository, CACEIS has a responsibility to contribute to the identification of solutions to these challenges and accordingly, develop precisely tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of our clients’ most complex investment vehicles. We must also seek ways of working that ensure continuous improvement on our part to drive productivity rates and efficiency gains. We are fully convinced that quality data is key to mitigating operational risk and enhancing service quality” explained Elena Mesonero.
During the conference, Elena highlighted that CACEIS views its role is evolving from a service provider to that of a business partner, both from an operational and technological standpoint. “The partnership model is an essential ingredient in our sales strategy of providing professional post-trade outsourcing solutions to asset managers in all the markets where we are present, including Luxembourg and Ireland. Our front to back-office solution which is part of our treasury management service helps asset managers optimise workflows and reduce costs along the entire value chain. Now is the perfect opportunity for asset managers and depositaries to join forces and build new market infrastructures that respond to the needs of the end-investor, in terms of product, reporting, security, and time-to-market”.
Elena added: “CACEIS is fully dedicated to the asset servicing business in Europe and beyond, and we are taking advantage of our scope and expertise to bring wide-ranging and scalable service offerings to clients in Spain and around the world”.
* FundsPeople is the benchmark community for collective investment and asset management professionals in Southern Europe (Spain, Andorra, Portugal and Italy). Aimed at fund management and distribution professionals, institutional investors and private banking professionals. With daily information on fundspeople.com/es and once a month in FundsPeople magazine.