Securities depositories to raise public policy profile

Securities depositories to raise public policy profile

As back office clearing and settlement issues rise up the regulatory agenda, the European Central Securities Depository Association (Ecsda) has moved to appoint its first secretary general and open a permanent office in Brussels, adjacent to the European Commission.

Since its creation in 1997, the lobby group has operated as a close network of CSD professionals, with no central structure. However, in the aftermath of the credit crisis, the humble back office plumbing provided by clearing organisations has assumed a central role in risk reduction efforts.

As Joël Mérère, Ecsda's chairman, observes: "Although we have achieved a lot as an association over the years, the rapidly changing business and regulatory environment in Europe means that the time has come to increase the level of professionalism in the work of Ecsda."

To this end, the group has named Soraya Belghazi as its first secretary general, who will head the office of the Association, located right next to the European Commission at Schuman Square in Brussels. Belghazi comes from the European Central Bank, where she has worked for the past two years as a policy expert dealing with financial stability and supervision issues.

Says Belghazi: "CSDs constitute a key stabilising factor in the financial markets, as demonstrated by their resilience during the recent financial crisis. To ensure this continues in the future, the Ecsda Secretariat will, in particular, provide a platform for constructive dialogue between the CSD community and European public authorities, as well as other stakeholders looking to achieve an optimal regulatory framework for clearing and settlement."

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