Angelo Calvitto, head of sales and account management at ANZ Custodian Services, says that ANZ has spent a good part of the last 12 months looking to remove the last vestiges of fax-based instructions from clients. Typically the small-tomedium- sized managers are culprits without fully automated instructions. “We had a look at the risks of dealing with a piece of paper and how to remove that risk. It’s going back to the core of our business and inevitably leads to a discussion of price versus risk,” he says.

ANZ is rolling out the SSCNet system, which picks up files from clients or manager trading systems or middle office systems and sends through encrypted information over the SWIFT network.

ANZ last year notified some of the small custody clients that they needed to make other arrangements, reigniting the long-standing argument about whether custodians as a group are servicing boutiques or small super funds as well as they could. “[Service providers] have not focused on small managers. We feel we have supported small managers but there is a challenge with pricing,” Calvitto says. “They sometimes have a higher touch rate.”

He says the biggest challenge for custodians is to keep pace with technology, because of increasing numbers of new products and service requirements. “The market continues to be very competitive. Australia is of interest to all the global players,” he says. ANZ’s long-standing global custody partner, Northern Trust, last year won the large and prestigious Future Fund account, for which ANZ is providing domestic custody.

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