ISITC Member Spotlight – Steven Gale

 

How long have you been involved with ISITC and what positions have you held/do you sit on any committees?
I have been involved with ISITC since at least 2003.I am currently one of the four co-chairs for the Corporate Actions working group. I have been in this position since about 2007 when Lorraine Morrison stepped down and I was elected. I consider myself fortunate to be working as a co-chair alongside some very dedicated professionals:  Steve Sloan from DTCC, Jennifer Baker from BNY Mellon, Jeffrey Panarelli from Wellington and Paul Fullam from FIS as our executive sponsor.  Each has shown a high level of dedication and service to our group as well as to ISITC as a whole. I say this because the work in the CA working group is truly a group effort. None of us could do this alone and we rely on each other constantly. I should also mention the co-chairs that I have worked with over the years: Dee Dee Walsh, Sonda Pimental, Mary Shine, Michael Stern, Tom Brown, and Malene McMahon. 

A few years ago, we also added a Co-Chair/Board meeting. This work is extremely satisfying as it allows me the opportunity to branch out with members of the other working groups and forums, but I also think it benefits all who participate in the sessions.  Knowledge sharing and idea gathering is key to these sessions.

What’s the most memorable/important initiative you’ve worked on as an ISITC member?
One of my most memorable experiences was my very first ISITC Conference in June 2004 in Beverly Hills. I recall Richard Robinson getting a stretch limo from the Beverly Hills hotel, and a group of 15 or so heading out for an evening of fun at Asia De Cuba. I was a total newbie at that time and had no idea of the work that was going on within our industry. Also, had no idea what “ISITC” stood for - there are days when I still have to think about it!

On a more serious note, I think my favorite initiative would have to be the Corporate Actions Market Practice.  This has become an annual effort in the CA working group as we have had a number of changes to our messages over the years. I truly believe that member firms use the market practice to help guide their own efforts in the CA space and that it is referred to when an IM or vendor starts to utilize SWIFT CA messages. I believe it is also used to help guide the CA process as a whole rather than just the messaging used to communicate CA events.

What’s the most impactful lesson you’ve gained from ISITC that you were able to bring back to your firm?
The most impactful lesson is how the SWIFT process for change requests works. Any group can work together to craft a change to SWIFT messaging that will help solve an industry-wide issue and can thereby be applied to a large group of users. Seeing those changes become part of the standard is truly satisfying. The effort to write the change request, provide business use cases, and present our need to the MWG is rewarding in and of itself, but seeing your work become part of the standard is special.

If you weren't working in financial services, what would you want to do for work?
I actually wanted to work as a radio announcer. So, spinning records and reporting the news. I did the college radio thing back in the day and really wanted to pursue that business, but the reality of not having a baritone voice and not really wanting to relocate to some small market town in anywhere USA led me to just listen to radio and find gainful employment in something else. There was another option I considered after I read a book titled “Bonfire of the Vanities” by Tom Wolfe and was taken in by the “Masters of the Universe” thing, and thought a career on Wall Street would be something I could do. I was wrong! Well, kind of.

What’s your favorite movie of all time? 
Well, I tell my wife that my favorite movie of all time is “The Godfather,” however my real favorite is “Gladiator.” She does not like the violence in either one.