ISITC Member Spotlight – Rich Robinson

How long have you been involved with ISITC and what positions have you held/do you sit on any committees?
I have been involved in ISITC since 1997 or 1998. I first heard of ISITC when I was working at the NSCC and Merrin Financial. When I moved to The Bank of New York, I became involved through Kevin Smith (not the actor/director), who was my manager, head of global operations at the bank, and was chair of ISITC after being on the board and an early advocate in ISITC’s founding.

Kevin got me involved because he believed, as I do now, that ISITC is not only an excellent information resource, and a place you can contribute to the solutions that are critical to properly functioning global markets, but a great way to involve junior employees in meaningful continuing education. It is a format where mixing of senior thought leaders and those newer to financial services that brings out the real value in what ISITC offers.

Over the years, I have been co-chair of the Custodian Forum, Reference Data Working Group, Derivatives Working Group, and Broker Forum. I was also part of the original group that wrote the first Best Practices for ISO15022 for Settlements and Reconciliation. Now, I sit on the board of directors and am second vice chair.


What's one of your favorite memories from your time at ISITC?
That is really hard to choose. There are things that I'm proud of that only ISITC would have been able to accomplish; all the best practices have saved tens to hundreds of millions of dollars for the industry in increased STP, more efficient operations, and better global communication and understanding.

It really comes down to the people, whether it's been dinner at Maestro's, the takeover of half the pool tables at The Rack, ska concerts in Baltimore, or heated debates in working groups, it's relationships with the people I've known for 20 or more years that are the true memories. It is the lasting friendships that have been established across the industry and the world through shared intense problem-solving during the day and some much deserved post-work outings that I have the best memories of.


What’s the most impactful lesson you've gained from ISITC that you were able to bring back to your firm?
No one firm has all the answers, and you can’t just read the output and get the same impact as when you actively participate in creating the solution. At all the companies I have worked at over the years, each has valued the industry knowledge gained through ISITC participation, and the growth opportunities it gives to their employees that become involved, especially with manager support. The knowledge sharing, and the ability to learn other perspectives is unparalleled. Brokers, custodians, asset/investment/fund managers, and vendors all sitting down in a room and not just talking about solutions, but each with a hand in the solution, explaining their position and resolving helps misunderstandings between communities.


What are your favorite activities/hobbies outside of work?
So, I love spending time with my three boys and my wonderful wife who all have had the opportunity to come to an ISITC conference a few times over the years. We enjoy traveling and discovering new places as a family, and going on skiing/snowboarding trips, or just relaxing at the shore or in our backyard.

Outside of work, I surf (yes, New Jersey surf is alive and well), snowboard, and play soccer regularly. I also read, am currently writing a book (on data and financial services), teaching myself guitar, garden, and do minor house projects. I also try to volunteer when I can, either on projects like Habitat for Humanity or mentoring.

We also have three rescue dogs and a rescue cat. My wife and I like to go hiking with the dogs.