Costa Elected President of GSCC/MBSCC
Thomas F. Costa has been elected president of the Government Securities Clearing Corporation (GSCC) and MBS Clearing Corporation (MBSCC) by the boards of the respective organizations. These clearing corporations, which handled $387 trillion in government- and mortgage-backed-securities transactions in 2001, share a common executive structure.
Costa succeeds Ronald Stewart, who is stepping down from day-to-day involvement in the business, but who will continue as a consultant to the organizations.
"We are trying to streamline the settlement process for all fixed-income products," says Costa, who adds that business-continuity planning, in light of Sept. 11, has also become a top priority. "We have two data centers and are looking for a third, remote-data center, with DTCC (GSCC and MBSCC's parent corporation). That will be in an undisclosed location outside of the N.Y. area."
Costa assumes the title of president in addition to his existing one of chief operating officer of GSCC and MBSCC, a post he has held since 2001. He came to National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) in 1984 as a vice president, joining its senior management when it was formed.
Costa, who wears a number of hats at the different clearing corporations, says he would like to stay involved with day-to-day operations. "I am very hands on," he adds. "I get into design meetings and expect to continue doing things like that, to the extent that I can."
ISE Elects Guardian CIO as New Vice Chairman
Frank J. Jones, executive vice president and chief investment officer of The Guardian Life Insurance Company, has been elected vice chairman of the International Securities Exchange - an all-electronic, U.S.-equity options market. Jones, who has served as a non-industry director on the ISE's board since the market's launch in May 2000, will fill the vacancy left by Ivers Riley, who was recently appointed chairman of the ISE.
In his new role as ISE vice chairman, Jones says that he will "chair subcommittees of the board," as well as serve as chairman of board meetings that Riley cannot attend. Jones says he looks forward to continuing to work with Riley to grow the business of the ISE, which now stands as the third-largest options market in the United States, trailing only the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the American Stock Exchange.
"Our focus will be on providing the best possible market place for our customers, so that our volume and share growth continue at the successful level that we expect," he says. "In addition, successfully participating in the SEC's mandated linkage program is another of ISE's highest priorities during the next year."
The ISE, the only fully electronic options market in the United States, is currently participating in an interim linkage program that provides electronic interfaces between its market and other options exchanges. Eventually, in compliance with the SEC's mandate, all five U.S.-options markets will be electronically linked.
JPMorgan Executive Named to Standards Board
Ed Mollahan, senior vice president at JPMorgan Investor Services, was recently appointed to the Private Equity Standards Board. The newly formed Standards Board is focused on creating standards for valuation and accounting procedures as well as for the formatting and content of information reported among participants in the private-equity arena.
"The Board is an aggregation of industry participants who have come together to determine a variety of things, including adopting accounting standards around this asset class," says Mollahan. "Then as a result of having established those standards, we're looking to improve the quality of communication around the assets, which are non-publicly traded, for the investor community."
The initiatives could include standardizing the valuation procedures on underlying investments that partnerships make, as well as the treatment of fees, expenses or income. Once those standards are in place, Mollahan says the board will be looking at ways to leverage technology to further the use of standards in the communication area. He says that possibilities could include the formation of an industry utility or some sort of standard-communication protocol to disseminate standardized information.
Mollahan says he decided to accept the invitation to join the Standards Board because JPMorgan Investor Services is a large layer in the private-equity arena and could benefit from the group's work. "The client constituency we service are among the largest investors in these asset classes and we are already focusing on these very issues internally," he adds.