Veterans Day marks a time of year when businesses across America like to highlight the initiatives they undertake to promote the hiring of military veterans. Many of these initiatives tout quantitative goals for how many veterans have been or will be hired. However, there are some individuals on Wall Street who are trying to shift that thinking and convince firms that simply hiring veterans is not enough. One of those individuals is Chris Perkins.

“Veterans need careers, not just jobs,” explains Perkins.

Perkins, who is the Managing Director and Global Head of OTC Clearing at Citi, knows what he is talking about because he has walked the walk. After serving 9 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and attaining the rank of Captain, Perkins transitioned to Wall Street in 2006. Ever since, Perkins has used lessons learned from his own transition to help the industry do a better job of helping veterans. (read more…)

Financial institutions need to focus on resilience and sharing information about cybersecurity, which should be treated seriously as a matter of national defense in the US, said experts and regulators at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

“We need national defense priority on cybersecurity,” just as with nuclear defense, because no company has the budget to battle sovereign nations launching cyberattacks, said Ronald Kruszewski, chairman and CEO of Stifel Financial.

Jim Rosenthal, chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley, suggested the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC, could train students toward careers in cybersecurity to help make up for the US’ talent gap in that area.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White reiterated the need for companies to share breach-related information among one another and with the government. Doing so will help other firms detect wider patterns and defend against the kinds of breaches that have occurred to other organizations, Lew said. (read more…)

Cybersecurity is a hot topic at every financial services firm. SmartBrief recently connected with two experts from the Financial Services Roundtable – Jason Kratovil, Vice President of Government Affairs for Payments and Chris Feeney, President of BITS – to discuss cybersecurity legislation currently under consideration on Capitol Hill and what the industry is already doing to combat cyber threats.

The Financial Services Roundtable recently helped conduct a survey of bank directors and senior management on the role they play in managing the security of digital assets. What did the survey results show?

Chris Feeney: The results showed a dramatic increase in the number of boards actively addressing cyber risk at Forbes Global 2000 companies, with the financial industry as a clear leader in cyber improvement and focus. Cybersecurity is now a boardroom-level issue for nearly two-thirds (63%) of the companies surveyed, a significant jump from 2012, when only 33% of boards were actively addressing computer and information security. (read more…)

A new study by Broadridge Financial Solutions finds that large banks could cut costs of processing trades by 40% though the adoption of a utility-type model. Sharing a range of functions such as post-trade processing, reconciliations and post-trade data, expense management and regulatory reporting would save the average Tier 1 bank $100-$300 million per year.

The new report, “Charting a Path to a Post-Trade Utility,” deals with the increasing costs of meeting new regulations and economic hurdles that cut into banks’ profit margins. “Despite significant cost cutting and restructuring post-crisis, most banks still struggle to post returns that exceed their cost of capital,” said Broadridge COO Tim Gokey. “Over the next five years, regulatory pressures are set to grow, so banks are increasingly looking to new and unconventional ways to regain efficiencies, particularly within the trade life-cycle. Emerging utility models hold significant promise.” Industry-wide savings could reach $4 billion, according to Broadridge. (read more…)

A collection of stories from SmartBrief publications and around the web…

Did the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing do any good?: Stephen D. Williamson says no. The vice president of the St. Louis Fed takes a critical view of the crisis management measures policymakers deployed during and in the aftermath of the 2008-09 financial crisis. Williamson challenges the efficacy of the Federal Reserve’s prolonged zero interest rate policy and also believes the Fed’s attempt to improve the manner in which it communicates has only muddied the waters. But Williamson takes his biggest swing at the massive quantitative easing the Fed rolled out in hopes of boosting the economy. With the Fed’s balance sheet now swollen at $4.5 trillion, Williamson argues that the economic benefits of the much-maligned QE program remain hard to discern.

Speaking of quantitative easing…: The European Central Bank is in the throes of its own round of QE, and it looks like Mario Draghi & Co. (read more…)