CSD-relations are also people relations
A team from VP SECURITIES travelled with Danske Bank to their Centre of Excellence in Lithuania. The mission was to deepen the understanding of a modern CSD in a series of workshops and to put human faces on the otherwise highly automated relationship between the bank and CSD. One manager in Danske Bank labels it “great partnering”.
“When VP suggested to have a team visiting our colleges in Vilnius, we immediately supported the idea. It is very important to overcome language barriers and cultural barriers, and even the very digital relationship between the bank and CSD benefits from personal relationships between the people in each end of the same process,” says Rebekka Schultz, Head of Development & Management Support, Market Operations, Danske Bank. The team from VP visited Danske Bank in Vilnius for two days in the autumn of 2017.
More than half of Danske Bank’s 250 employees in Market Operations are based in Vilnius in Lithuania. All ‘that can be traded’ in all customer segments for Danske Bank in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and the Baltics are partly run by Market Operations in Vilnius. The trade itself and the entire cycle of payment, custody and dividend afterwards is handled by this function. Rebekka Schultz is Head of Development & Management Support, which is an international team based in Denmark and Lithuania, Finland and Sweden. They are in charge of the T2S-project at Danske Bank and they are involved in other regulatory projects like CSDR and MiFIDII.
“We want to integrate and work together in as many ways possible with our colleges in Vilnius,” says Rebekka Schultz, who has Høje Taastrup near Copenhagen as her primary workplace. “Previously, we have had a tendency to ‘send’ tasks to the Shared Service Center in Vilnius, and not have a very strong collaboration with the colleagues there. But now we are one team, and we have invested heavily in training, development and competencies to align our work even better.”
“Having the Danish CSD visiting Vilnius fits perfectly to this journey. VP were represented with both managers and the hands-on people doing the day-to-day business with us. It is great for our team to get direct contact and go-to-persons at the CSD. Also a deeper understanding of a CSD and the high-level overview is valuable to the Vilnius-team. This is great partnering from VP”.
“Now it is just so much easier for a young colleague in Lithuania to pick up the phone and get a problem solved right away. We can feel that VP regards us as a customer and not like a market participant on an infrastructure, and the service coming with that attitude is very much appreciated,” says Head of Development & Management Support Rebekka Schultz from Market Operations in Danske Bank.
Easier to pick up the phone
During the stay four VP-employees ran four seminars, and the majority of Market Operations’ 150 employees in Vilnius met with them and learned more about CSDing the Danish way. Rebekka Schultz describes Danish post trade as highly automated and characterised by straight-through processing, which is not the case for all markets. Though the process is digital and automated, the staff at Danske Bank handling post trade processes has great value of getting to know the VP-staff in Denmark.
A quick poll among the attendees at the seminars run by VP in Vilnius showed a positive rating well over middle.