Steven Kelly Receives ISITC Excellence Award

This piece was originally published by Eugene Grygo on FTF News

Industry standards trade group ISITC has selected Steven J. Kelly, CFA, to be the 2021 recipient of the ISITC Standard of Excellence Award for his accomplishments in developing standards and best practices for financial services operations.

A former ISITC chairman, Kelly received the honor March 30 during the virtual version of ISITC’s 27th Annual Securities Operations Summit, underway from March 29 to April 1.

The award honors an individual who has made a “significant contribution to the industry and rendered exceptional service to ISITC,” according to ISITC. Kelly was selected “due to his many achievements in driving the industry forward during his time with ISITC.”

ISITC officials say that Kelly is “a transformational leader” because of his involvement in “innovative strategies and solutions” over the past two decades. He served in the top post at ISITC from 2001 to 2002.

Beyond ISITC, Kelly has also been involved with the Portal Alliance LLC’s board of directors; as a member of the FIX Trading Community’s Americas Regional Committee and co-chair of the Business Practices Committee; the Omgeo advisory board; and SIFMA’s Match To Settle Working Group and T+1 Settlement Committees.

Before joining the CME Group, he had positions with Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Scudder Investments, officials say.

His standards efforts are continuing. He was part of the Oct. 29, 2020 announcement from the FIX Trading Community that published recommended practices for trade and post-trade bilateral and tri-party repurchase agreements otherwise known as repos. Kelly serves as chair of the FIX Repo Working Group.

“The FIX Repo working group was established to develop a standardized method for automating the full life cycle of Repos to improve efficiencies and reduce risks.   The post-trade workflows include allocations, confirmation, collateral assignment, and lifecycle events,” according to FIX Trading Community officials.

“This effort was focused on leveraging existing FIX messaging to support the Repo requirements. During the review process, the group identified gaps in the FIX Protocol necessary to support the Repo bilateral and tri-party trade and post-trade workflows. These gaps were addressed in an extension pack,” adds the FIX Trading Community.

During his remarks as he received the ISITC honor, Kelly says that while change may appear to happen slowly in the area of new standards for operations, the securities industry has seen many positive changes.

“It’s funny because I often feel frustrated with the slow pace of change, particularly around the lack of automation,” Kelly said during the virtual presentation of the award.

Steven J. Kelly

“But when Lisa [Iagatta, current ISITC chair] was going through the history, and you look at the milestones that were achieved, it’s amazing,” he said. “This award’s been presented to a distinguished list of people with outstanding service to ISITC and the industry in general … I’m quite honored and humbled to receive this award.”

A committee of ISITC board members, led by Erica Borghi, immediate past chair, designates the recipient of the Standard of Excellence Award.

ISITC consists of investment managers, broker-dealers, custodians, utilities, and technology vendors focused on standards and best practices that improve operational efficiencies for the securities industry.

The organization is in its 30th year.