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Thursday, 18th April 2024
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Managing one of the funds industry‚€ôs biggest integrations Back  
Susan Dargan, chief operating officer at State Street Ireland, discusses her role heading up the IBT integration from the State Street side and the challenges it poses for the operations of the company. This deal has added an additional 450 people to the company‚€ôs employee base and $85 billion in assets.
7.15am Up and out of bed. Arrived back from a long weekend skiing last night so some catching up to do today. Currently working out of State Street‚€ôs Harcourt Street and IFSC offices. First meeting this morning is in Harcourt Street, which is 5 minutes from my house so no major commute.

8.00am Meeting with Willie Slattery Country Head of State Street in Ireland. We run through an update on the integration efforts related to the Investors Bank and Trust (IBT) Business, which State Street acquired in July 2007.

This deal has added an additional 450 people to our employee base and $85 billion in assets, across our traditional mutual fund servicing business for State Street in Ireland and our specialist hedge fund servicing business, International Fund Services (IFS). IFS is widely acknowledged to be the leading global specialist in servicing complex single and multi-strategy hedge funds.
I am currently heading up the IBT integration from the State Street side.

8.45am Meeting with Willie Slattery and senior management from IBT, IFS and HR to discuss the overall integration and progress on customer conversions. We cover client communication, current conversion process, and internal communication.

10.00am Catch up with Joanne Gale, VP responsible for the Fund Accounting Conversions. Joanne has recently moved from Boston with her family so we cover some personal items around her move and also review the Integration team and their progress to date. This includes reviewing the more complex funds in the IBT range and making decisions on the appropriate set-up on the State Street systems.

10.30am Conference call with managers to discuss progress on move of certain work to State Street‚€ôs operations in Eastern Europe. Despite the recent market challenges we continue to see growth and interest in new products such as tax transparent vehicles, cross border pooling, complex derivative and other alternative vehicles.

Our global centres provide an additional pool of highly educated individuals for our Irish operations. By globalising our employee base in these centres we create capacity in Ireland to take on continued new business.

11.30am Telephone conversation with Donald Aiken. Donald is the Chairman of the Institutional Money Market Funds Association, (IMMFA) of which I am a Director. IMMFA is the trade association for European provider of triple-A rated Institutional Money Market Funds. It was established in 2000 around the time of the launch of the first European triple-A rated Money Market funds and is administered by the IMA out of London. IMMFA has heightened its profile considerably over the last 2 years through the work it has carried out with in country regulators and Brussels to gain appropriate regulatory recognition of these funds as an asset class in their own right.

More recent given global market conditions that the asset composition and track record of ‚€ėtreasury style‚€ô money market funds offered by it‚€ôs members will continue to make them a valuable component of a treasury manager‚€ôs portfolio. Discuss with Donald a project we are looking at to enhance the standardisation of mark to market pricing sources for these funds. While the funds amortise on a daily basis they are marked to market weekly and given the maturity of the industry we are moving towards more standardised approach for funds and service providers across the board.

12.15 Travel across town to the IFSC for my afternoon meetings. With the diversions in the IFSC due to the LUAS works the journey is taking longer than normal.

12.45pm Lunch at desk. Catch up on emails, which have piled up while I was out and take 20 minutes to go through today‚€ôs papers. Also start to return calls which have come in while I was out.

2.00pm Attend planning session to discuss the next phase of State Street‚€ôs new over-the-counter derivatives platform. Kevin Sullivan who heads up the development team has flown over from Boston for a couple of days to provide demo‚€ôs of the new platform and agree a rollout schedule for Ireland and Europe. There is a large group from across the company at the session. There is a lot of interest in the platform, as it will considerably enhance our OTC service capabilities. The premise of the development is that the process will be automated end-to-end. Historically OTC automation development was reactive and covered certain aspects of the process rather than providing straight through solutions. We discuss the format of the local project team and the rollout schedule, which will take place over the next
12 months.

3.15pm Go through client updates with my management team. We cover new business coming in from existing clients, resources, space planning. In addition we go through the attendees for the upcoming IFIA seminars in London and the US to ensure that we have the right representatives at the event. We also discuss an offsite session we are planning for our managers, which will take place in a couple of weeks. We hold these on an annual basis to set goals for the group
and review key issues for
the area.

4.15pm Return some more calls and catch up on emails.

5.00pm Catch up with the Integration team in IBT who are working on the systems conversions. We review progress for the day and
look at any issues that require discussion.

5.30pm Spend the next couple of hours clearing out my emails and going through my schedule for the next couple of weeks.

7.30pm I do try to make the gym a couple of nights during the week but my will power isn‚€ôt always the best so no tonight. I head to meet friends for something to eat.

10.30pm Home and ready for bed.

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