April 14, 2000
Accenture Creates Straight-Through-Processing Center of Excellence

Firm Makes Major Investment to Help Clients Deal With the Challenges and Capitalize on the Opportunities of Automated End-to-End Trade Processing

NEW YORK, April 14, 2000 – Accenture today announced the creation of a straight-through-processing (STP) Center of Excellence to focus on an area that leading financial markets firms believe will radically change the way business is conducted in the global securities industry.

Located at the Accenture Financial Ideas Exchange in New York City, the STP Center of Excellence contains a variety of proprietary STP assets, including the Accenture STP Navigator — a diagnostic tool that can identify a firm’s current STP capabilities and the changes needed to enable the firm to migrate to an STP environment. Another asset is a process modeling tool that allows Accenture clients to identify specific cost savings and revenue enhancements that can be achieved through STP.

"We’re taking a comprehensive, end-to-end approach to STP to help our clients around the world transform their trading processes so they can clear and settle transactions more quickly and efficiently; increase trading volumes; reduce settlement-failure rates; and improve customer service," said Jim Honohan, the Accenture partner who directs the firm’s global STP practice.

Straight-through processing solutions are needed to help financial markets firms meet the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s expected call for one-day trade settlement (T+1), as well as to meet the global demand that has resulted from the explosive growth of online trading. Currently, trades in the US equity and corporate bond markets take three days to settle, due to manual processes that include everything from faxes and phone calls to the re-keying of data. STP solutions will enable the entire lifecycle of a trade to be conducted electronically without the need for manual intervention, ultimately benefiting financial markets players by greatly shortening processing cycles, reducing risk and lowering operating costs. Accenture estimates that industry spending on STP initiatives will total $12 billion to $15 billion over the next three years in North America alone — and double that globally.

"We can help our clients identify what they need to do within their four walls — from an organizational, process and technological perspective — to make their organizations STP-enabled," said Mr. Honohan. "Just as important, we can help them identify what they need to do outside their four walls to integrate with other firms and business partners and to expand their product and service offerings to help fund STP investments. Successful firms will identify not just cost and risk reduction from STP, but also revenue opportunities."

As Accenture’s central source of STP knowledge capital, the STP Center of Excellence includes an assessment of the current and future direction of the financial markets industry; the capabilities and resources required of winning organizations in the STP marketplace; and the implications of STP on a firm’s technical architecture and organizational structures. Accenture’s STP knowledge capital covers all industry segments, including primary and secondary broker/dealers, asset management firms, custodians, correspondent clearing firms, exchanges and shared utilities.

In addition to housing the proprietary assets, the STP Center of Excellence offers a series of STP workshops for financial services executives. During these client-specific sessions, Accenture helps executives develop strategies, approaches and business cases for achieving STP in their firms. The series cover a range of STP issues and activities, from a basic overview of STP and its potential effects on all areas of the securities industry to development sessions where participants leave with a working strategy for achieving an STP-enabled organization.

Accenture serves hundreds of financial markets firms around the world, including broker/dealers, asset managers, custodians, and industry utilities such as exchanges and depositories. The firm is currently working with several industry leaders, including the Securities Industry Association (SIA), to determine the impact of T+1 in the United States.

About Accenture
Accenture is an $8.9 billion global management and technology consulting organization whose mission is to help its clients create their future. The firm works with clients from a wide range of industries to bring about far-reaching change by linking their people, processes and technologies to their strategies. Accenture has approximately 65,000 people in 48 countries. Its home page address is http://www.accenture.com.

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