(L to R): ACSA CEO Rob Brown, Teri Thomas, Siv Vijayanathan, Sally Surgeon, Daniel Cheever, Peter Sturgeon, David Knights

HSBC’s former head of custody and clearing, Peter Snodgrass, and Northern Trust’s Sally Surgeon jointly won the 2020 Conexus Financial Lifetime Achievement award at the Investment Operations Conference that was held in Sydney this week

In accepting his award, Snodgrass called for better data transparency and continued engagement with the regulator. Snodgrass retired last year after 15 years at HSBC and a 37-year career.

“The biggest thing (for the industry) is the speed of change that we have either been through or we are going to go through in the next 5 to 10 years,” he told attendees. “Many of the challenges we will face is how we make already what we do very efficiently, more efficient and better as a product to the end client.”

Surgeon, Northern Trust’s head of clients services and head of Sydney office, said the “power of people” would make the industry more efficient and “forward thinking”. Surgeon started her career with State Street in 1993 and stayed for 12 years before she joined Northern Trust in 2005 in London and later became the company’s first employee in Australia.

“One of the things that standout for me through my career is that it’s the people that we work with that make it happen and we are just happy that technology is starting to catch up with us to help us be even more effective,” she told the industry.

The Australian Custodial Services Association (ACSA) also presented awards at the conference. HSBC’s Siv Vijayanathan and JPMorgan’s Teri Thomas were both named 2020 ACSA Award winners, while State Street’s Daniel Cheever won the ACSA Service to the Industry award.

Vijayanathan contributes to the organisation’s regulatory affairs working group, while Thomas is the chair of its members and services group. Cheever, who has worked in the Australian asset servicing sector for almost 21 years, served on the ACSA board as deputy chair for five years between 2013 to 2018.

“Without these people, the work of ACSA would grind to a halt,” said ACSA chair David Knights. The “unique voluntary working group structure relies on the men and women of the asset servicing industry to give up their time to help the industry prosecute its agenda with the broader financial services ecosystem.”

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