Based in Luxembourg, Clearstream is an International Central Securities Depository (ICSD) and a leading supplier of post-trading services (custody and settlement) for the financial industry. Leveraging a global network that links 42 domestic markets, Clearstream offers one of the marketâs most comprehensive international securities services available, settling more than 250,000 financial transactions daily, with around 2,500 customers (banks and financial institutions only) in over 100 countries.
In early 2004, Clearstream embarked on a vast project to automate its process for order routing. The project was part of the companyâs ongoing strategy to reduce costs and improve processing efficiency in the investment fund industry which, unlike bonds and stocks, is still very much paper-based. A global automation system, called Vestima+, was launched in January 2005.
âAt that time, Vestima+ was not able to handle client order confirmations sent by fax. However, a high number of transactions in the investment industry are carried out by fax or telephone. Our Vestima+ product needed an automated solution to fill in this major gap and integrate into the overall existing full âStraight Through Processingâ system.This solution was to allow us to offer to our clients an easy entry and simple upgrade path towards more structured communications while maintaining reasonable STP levels,â recalls Christian Westerholt, Clearstream Product Manager.
After publishing a request for bid, Clearstream wanted to test solutions in a real world proof-of-concept over a period of 3 days at the Clearstream site. This selection method was designed to compare the various short-listed offers with respect to a set of criteria that included performance, ease-of-use, and interface efficiency with Vestima+. ITESOFTâs solutions were chosen following proof-of-concept testing that focused on operational security and ease-of-use.
âThere was no possible doubt as to which was the most appropriate solution: ITESOFTâs superiority was beyond compare,â says Christian Westerholt. âOne of the main differentiating factors in ITESOFT.FreeMind for Business and ITESOFT.Share is their ability to read not just pre-defined document formats, but also to handle completely unstructured documents,â he adds.
The proof-of-concept testing also enabled Clearstream to see that no prior setup was required, which made it faster to implement the project, and easier for end-users to learn how to use the solution.
âThe ITESOFT solution also stands out for its high level of security. This includes backup features, access rights management, and detailed tracking throughout the entire cycle. We now have an automation tool that meets our security requirements perfectly,â concludes Christian Westerholt.