At the beginning of 2008, Strate (PTY) Ltd “Strate” embarked on an initiative to re-write the Central Securities Depository (CSD) bonds system. This initiative was mandated by the bonds advisory committee and endorsed by the Strate board of directors. A series of workshops ensued, involving stakeholders from all areas of the debt instrument financial market, with the sole purpose of producing the debt instrument solutions (DIS) blueprint. An outcome from the workshops, was that the current debt instrument solutions is no longer adequately flexible to continue meeting changing customer needs, especially as the existing system is over 20 years old and no longer supported by external vendors.
By March 2009 Strate had received 'sign off' on the blueprint from all the stakeholders. The project was however placed on hold, due to the merger of the bond exchange of South Africa Ltd (BESA) and the Johannesburg stock exchange limited (JSE). Towards the end of 2009, Strate made a strategic decision to push ahead with the project and develop a business requirement specification (BRS), using the DIS blueprint as their frame of reference. Strate looked at the synergies between the money market and the debt instrument market with the intention of limiting the amount of re-work necessary for both Strate and its clients. Strate has taken the following strategic decisions in preparing the debt instruments BRS:
- To utilise the ISO 15022 messaging standard for interaction between Strate and business partners, however cognisant of the introduction of ISO20022 by SWIFT. The synergy between the two standards will be evaluated and reviewed on request by the market.
- To facilitate both retail and wholesale model for this solution.
The proposed solution will also adhere to international best practices, where applicable, to the South African debt instrument market i.e. the use of ISO standards as the communication infrastructure. Strate took a strategic decision in 2013 to replace its core custody and settlement systems and consolidate these into a single platform. The "TCS BaNCS MI" system was chosen and money market securities were successfully migrated onto the platform at the beginning of 2016.
Strate's "DIS project" is the strategic project to replace Strate's previous "UNEXCor" bond settlement system and bonds securities were successfully migrated onto the TCS BaNCS MI platform in September 2017. Equities securities will be the last migration and this is currently planned for the Q4 of 2019.
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