Interview with Rosemary Quinlan – HSBC Securities Services has been operating out of Dublin since 1979, during which time it has become one of the leading players in the funds space. Responding to challenges and having the speed and innovation to overcome them has always been a key strength of this global player.
One challenge facing the industry today is the increased commoditisation of products and services being offered by administrators and depositories.
“Standardisation can help ensure transparency of both procedures and associated data and improve operational efficiency,” says Rosemary Quinlan, Managing Director HSBC Securities Services and Deputy Country CEO.
Product differentiation, in Quinlan's view, must add real value when trying to stand out from the competition. She believes regulatory developments are one of the reasons behind commoditisation, along with logistical and commercial reasons. Being able to deliver value means that product development groups need to be "fully aligned" to the operation and business development teams "and be dedicated to understanding both industry and client requirements", says Quinlan.
To do this, HSBC has a Global Product organisation, with HSBC Ireland providing global representation in the areas of product strategy, fund accounting, pricing and valuation in addition to transfer agency and custody services. "We've also created a specialist Global Complex Pricing and Risk unit with the Global Head and the core of the team based in Dublin," confirms Quinlan.
The primary purpose of the Global Product organisation is to drive continuous improvement across all established product lines and also to develop new products.
Presently, HSBC Securities Services' strategic focus lies in three main areas: OTC life cycle management and pricing, Prime Services and Fund of Hedge Funds.
Quinlan confirms that extensive relationships have been built with seven OTC vendors to provide a low cost solution to clients, focusing not only on the automation of high volume OTC valuations but also on lower volume esoteric products in their portfolios.
HSBC Prime Services provides seamless support for clients' custodial, financing, trade executions and collateral management needs by combining the security of its global custody proposition with HSBC's Global Markets products and distribution platform.
Quinlan confirms that the firm is also in the "development and implementation phase of the Fund of Hedge Fund (FoHF) Strategic Investment programme. The programme's objective is to create a market-leading FoHF product and service offering. Our vision for growth, scalability and product mirrors that of the leading FoHF managers in the industry and our product development in this area will provide our clients with the future products and services they require to support their growth in this market segment," says Quinlan.
BlueCrest, Merchant Capital and New Capital Ucits funds plc are just a few examples of recent business wins, all of which will be serviced through Ireland.
With a workforce of 650 – 400 people in Dublin and 250 people in Asia who all support the Irish office – it's clear to see the importance HSBC places on its Securities Services business in Ireland.
As Quinlan explains: "Our product management organisation in Dublin has grown to 30 people and we envisage that by the end of 2011 over 40 people will be part of this innovative team, developing products and services both for clients of HSBC in Ireland and throughout the world."