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Citi Sharing Post-Trade Data With Snowflake to Ease Settlement

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(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. will begin sharing some data with cloud-storage software maker Snowflake Inc., a move that will help the bank reduce costs and streamline some of its post-trade processes.

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Any time a trade occurs, a whole host of players across markets have to reconcile that activity in their ledgers. With its latest tie-up, announced Wednesday, Citigroup is aiming to provide a real-time record of that data to all parties in a transaction, said Fiona Horsewill, head of data for Citigroup’s securities-services business.

“If you think about the number of entities that touch the transaction, they’re all keeping their own records and they’re all reconciling,” Horsewill said in an interview. “Clients are very ready and receptive to looking at operational efficiencies, taking friction out of the process and take the costs out of that and getting data in as near real time as they can.”

Costs tied to the post-trade process have soared in recent years alongside higher trading volumes, with most banks spending as much as $750 million each on brokerage, clearing, custody and exchange expenses, according to research by Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. More than half the banks in a Cognizant survey said such costs are their second-biggest annual budget item, behind staffing costs.

“Clearly, if we were to start afresh, we would not design market-transaction data workflows in the way they function today,” Okan Pekin, global head of Citigroup’s securities-services unit, said in the statement. “We are striving to provide solutions to the challenge of multiple records across multiple systems and the associated costs and data reconciliation consequences that hinder our clients and the industry today.”

Snowflake, whose software is used for warehousing data in the cloud, has been working with companies that are modernizing their corporate applications and networks. It raised $3.36 billion in last year’s biggest U.S. initial public offering, and now has a market value of $95 billion.

Citigroup has set its sights on building out its securities-services business, which operates in 60 markets and has more than $30 trillion in assets under custody. The New York-based firm in February separated the unit from its trading business and elevated Pekin to report directly to Paco Ybarra, head of Citigroup’s institutional-clients group.

“We’ve moved away from where markets started, with two paper tickets that paired together,” Chris Cox, who leads Citigroup’s securities-services unit in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in an interview. “Our thought is it doesn’t need to work that way.”

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