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Rhyme breakfast briefing highlights the need to start preparing now for the Euroclear Single Platform

Rhyme Systems, a leading provider of asset management solutions, urges Euroclear UK & Ireland participants to start preparing now for the forthcoming introduction of the Euroclear Single Platform*. This was the overwhelming message at this month’s Rhyme-hosted breakfast briefing “Preparing for the Single Platform” attended by settlement professionals.

Keynote speaker at the conference, Mark Wellham, Arrow-SP Product Manager, Rhyme Systems says, “Perhaps understandably, many firms’ preparations for the imminent introduction of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) have taken priority over projects to prepare for the Euroclear Single Platform. However, now that organisations are undertaking final preparations and systems installations in readiness for the MiFID deadline of November 1st, and with less than a year to begin Euroclear mandatory user testing, now is the time to focus on the groundwork needed for the introduction of the Single Platform.

“Looking to the future, it was suggested at the briefing that because systems are increasingly affected by regulation, firms should take an enterprise level view when planning developments as requirements often overlap. This approach, as opposed to viewing each requirement in isolation, should not only save time but also costs.”

A survey Rhyme conducted with a sample of Euroclear UK & Ireland participants on their readiness for the introduction of the Single Platform identified that:

• Most have a project proposed for migrating to the Single Platform, none yet has a project in progress
• Surveyed firms’ biggest issues and concerns around migration to the Single
Platform are functional changes associated with ISO 15022 processing, followed by Common Communication Interface (CCI) gateway installation and migration and lack of training of users for corporate-action processing
• There is ‘patchy’ knowledge of all the changes associated with the Single Platform migration including: the migration dates, participant and mandatory testing as well as functional changes and communication requirements
• None has yet contacted their accredited network supplier for provision of the CCI compliant gateway which is required to access the Single Platform
• All firms surveyed envisage taking full advantage of the ability to more easily settle domestic trades within the Euroclear group central securities depositories and cross-border trades using Euroclear Bank’s ‘full service’ package once the Single Platform has been fully implemented.

*Euroclear’s Single Platform will be introduced from January 2009 and will be accessed only through a CCI-compliant gateway. It will be implemented across all its group companies throughout 2009 and 2010, and will consolidate and harmonise all settlement, custody (corporate-action processing and meeting announcement functionality) and related services. The driving factor for these changes is to reduce the risks and costs of settling securities transactions, particularly cross border. As a consequence, the Euroclear group markets will function as a single market without operational borders.

The Single Platform and Common Communications Interface will support harmonised ISO messaging only, which will be mandatory, initially for custody functions followed by settlement functions in 2010.