Do you know Swisscanto Funds Centre Limited?


Following the successful acquisition of Swisscanto Funds Centre Limited (SFCL), two of the main protagonists of this new adventure give more insights about the deal. Mark O'Brien, CEO of SFCL, gives his view on the business objectives and Philippe Seyll, CEO of Clearstream Banking S.A., talks about the distribution intermediation service offered by the newly added company.

Mark, what are the business objectives?

Mark O’Brien: In the near term, they are threefold: firstly, our current service offering to customers is an integrated one-stop shop for investment funds. We need to develop the various elements of our fund distribution services as standalone products so that these can be promoted as add-on services to Clearstream’s existing clients. Secondly, behind the scenes, we will carry out a market migration to transfer the custody assets onto the Clearstream core platform Vestima; and, thirdly, we will transition and integrate the business into the Clearstream organisation culminating in a legal merger planned around a target date of March 2019.

Philippe, what is this new “distribution intermediation” service about?

Philippe Seyll: It’s called “distribution intermediation” because SFCL is the intermediary between the funds providers or asset managers and the distributing banks but without acting as either the fund or as the distributor itself. The SFCL services – which will in future be provided by Clearstream Banking S.A. and Clearstream Banking AG – cover negotiation and distribution contracts, commission management including calculation and collection, providing information on funds and suitability as well as marketing support. SFCL also has a web-based fund platform, the “Fund Desk”, that automates the service for both the fund providers and the distributors. In a nutshell, the acquired company Swisscanto Funds Centre Limited will offer services related to funds distribution.

What is the future of this business?

Philippe Seyll: Clearstream is now working on launching SFCL’s services in addition to, and integrated with, its current Vestima order routing, settlement and asset servicing products. Furthermore, I would call this business a scale business, i.e. the SFCL acquisition will help us to position Clearstream in the fast-moving fund intermediation landscape. Further businesses will be developed, and organic and non-organic growth are to be expected.