BNP Paribas makes major expansion in US fund services

BNP Paribas Securities Services is to launch a local custody service in the US, making it easier for asset managers crossing the Atlantic to do business.

Ever more are doing so. As detailed in our edition of 26 July, Wells Fargo Asset Management, Eaton Vance, Calamos and Janus Capital International were among many US companies establishing themselves, or expanding existing footprints in Europe.

European rivals, keen to gain access to markets and client bases that are likely to recover more rapidly from the 2008-2011 setbacks to the developed world’s economies, are looking in the opposite direction.

BNP Paribas’ move will help firms recognise such ambitions.

The fund servicing unit of the French bank offer local clearing, settlement and custody of all major asset classes listed on NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX, and will connect directly to the US Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation.

The bank said its expanded service would cut reliance on external sub-custodians, and at the time “significantly increase the amount of client assets held entirely within BNP Paribas”.

While the move has come to help clients trade more smoothly across the major financial centres of the world, the bank said it also brought “additional benefits in the current regulatory environment, where increasing emphasis is put on end-to-end operational control”.

Patrick Colle, chief executive of BNP Paribas Securities Services, said: “Extending our sub-custody capabilities to include the US means that we will become the local custodian for more than 90% of our clients’ global assets.

“Asset safety has never been as important to investors as it is today, and with our strength of balance sheet and now local capabilities in the US, we feel that we will offer investors a unique proposition.”

To help with its growth, last February the bank appointed Claudine Gallagher (pictured) as regional manager of North America.

She said: “North America is a crucial market to investors whether on the buy or sell side, in Europe or Asia. Processing our first transactions as a local custodian in the US will be an important milestone in our commitment towards supporting US investors and an increasingly global client base.”


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