2022 Outlook: Lisa Iagatta, ISITC
Lisa Iagatta is Immediate Past Chair of ISITC.
What were the key theme(s) for your organization in 2021?
Last year at ISITC, we focused on four key themes: the new way of working, digital and crypto assets, ESG, and shortening the settlement cycle. The new way of working was our response to the pandemic, adapting to a remote working environment amidst the changing landscape of financial services. In the crypto and digital space, we have been fortunate to be a part of conversations and forums exploring how to bring digital assets into the mainstream, and how to do so most effectively to drive sustainable adoption. ESG really had a peak during 2021, with overall efforts in data and standardization as firms increasingly prioritize social, environmental and governance-driven goals. Another big focus was reducing settlement times as we strive to accelerate the transition to T+1.
What was the highlight of 2021?
2021 had a lot of incredible moments, but one key highlight overall was seeing the way in which the financial services industry as a whole responded and adapted to the evolving industry needs. The close collaboration with our members and other industry organizations helped provide us with unique insight into the changing financial landscape, and 2021 gave rise to two new Digital Assets and ESG forums at ISITC in response to demand from our membership. We also saw a continuation of the virtual environment started in 2020, which continues to improve as we learn how to enhance and optimize our workflows even further.
What surprised you in 2021?
I think we were all surprised and impressed by the general industry resiliency. We expected to see some burnout and pandemic fatigue, but it was incredibly encouraging to see how people continued to work together to make our collective strides forward possible. A huge accomplishment was maintaining a fully virtual environment, which was driven forward by our members who continued to support us with their resiliency and adaptability. Our virtual events and summer webinar series are another testament to the support of ISITC members, partners, sponsors and the Board of Directors.
What are your expectations for 2022?
2022 promises exciting opportunities, the most important being the return to in-person meetings and events. We are hoping for a smooth transition into the new year so we can bring our ISITC members together in person for our Annual Securities Operations Summit in March. No matter what the new year brings, we are entering 2022 with high hopes for our strong leadership team and newly announced board officers for the next term.
What trends are getting underway that people may not know about but will be important?
I expect a continuation around the exciting momentum from our themes/focus in 2021, namely around digital assets, ESG, and the future of work, all of which will remain at the forefront of our conversations in the year to come. There is still so much work to be done in the digital and crypto asset space from a custodian and corporate actions standpoint, and 2022 should be a big year for furthering that discussion. Many people called 2021 the year of discovering new ways to work, and many presumed 2022 would be back to normal. I don’t think we’ll go back to what we deem fully “normal,” but we will emerge even stronger based on the lessons learned in the previous years to a new norm.
Lessons of the pandemic can lead to a brighter 2022.
The Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) has brought about workflow changes for trading firms.
More sources of ETF liquidity allow for operational efficiencies.
Acquisitive asset managers need a centralised data strategy leveraging cloud technology.
SEC Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw may be influential behind the scenes next year.