Computershare completes US IT integration

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Computershare completes US IT integration

More efficiencies than expected.

Computershare has completed an 18-month effort to move the Bank of New York Mellon’s shareowner services division to its IT infrastructure after acquiring the business in December 2011.

The Melbourne-based share registrar transferred some 25 million Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM) shareholder records to its core share registry system, SCRIP.

Computershare has used SCRIP since the 1990s. The platform is built on mid-range architecture, linked to global stock exchange systems and housed in data centres in the US, Australia and Britain.

Chief information officer Stuart Irving led a team of up to 140 Australian IT staff and 150 in the US in the integration effort, which was due to conclude by 30 June 2013.

Irving said the project concluded under budget last weekend and yielded more IT-related synergies between Computershare and the BNYM business than expected.

Computershare initially planned to spend $50 million on IT, facilities and staff to achieve $72.5 million of synergies by 2015.

Staff spent 21 weekends migrating data from BNYM’s mainframe systems to SCRIP, working with clients throughout the process to support their various interfaces and reporting schedules.

Australian staff were tasked with identifying and plugging any gaps in functionality, extending the SCRIP platform when needed.

Irving’s team moved a total of 1.1 billion transaction records and 67 million image files — scanned letters that were previously held on six different BNYM platforms.

The data went back seven years and pertained to 4300 companies and 25 million shareholders for BNYM’s share purchase and registry businesses.

Employee stock options remain off SCRIP

A further 200,000 shareholder records from BNYM’s employee stock options business could not be moved onto SCRIP, which did not have the necessary functionality in the US.

“It was our intent to move everything to our platform, but we didn’t have a stock options platform in the US,” Irving explained.

“Stock options are very much based on the taxation regimes of each country.”

Employees typically receive stock options as part of their salary package, allowing them to purchase company stock at a given price at a later date.

Although Computershare used SCRIP to handle employee stock options in Australia and Britain, Irving said moving those 200,000 BNYM records to SCRIP would have called for a significant development effort.

As such, Computershare decided to keep its new US employee stock options business on the BNYM-built EOS platform.

It moved EOS, built about eight years ago in .NET and SQL, onto its servers and developed application interfaces between EOS and other Computershare systems.

Irving acknowledged that Computershare bore an additional cost of supporting EOS, but it was “minimal”, at about 0.1 percent of his total IT budget.

Looking forward, he said Computershare would continue using EOS in the US and also build some of its more modern functions into SCRIP for its Australian and British employee stock options businesses.

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