ICSF Update

Technical Standards | New Partnerships

Welcome to my early autumn ICSF blog.

I’ve recently taken advantage of those few weeks at the end of summer, when children have returned to school but the weather is still good. Having family and friends dotted around Europe, I chose to catch up with loved ones by train. I won’t deny that the hassle of airport security compounded by additional measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, has made flying less attractive whilst making me more cognisant of the environmental impact. Rail is more sustainable than air (and there’s more legroom!).

I think these sorts of decisions are more commonplace now. Balancing one’s own immediate needs against those of a more sustainable path isn’t always easy, however, one only has to look to the change to working from home, which has become more favourable and more of a success than many businesses thought possible. Put simply, a sustainable future will only be attainable with bold, intelligent, and determined action. Our efforts, at ICSF, are driven by this philosophy, and the conviction that sustainable securities lending serves to strengthen world markets, reduce volatility, and improve peoples’ living conditions.

Another benefit of rail travel is the calming diversity of the views, and how looking out of train windows affords one the space to think. As I am involved with quite a few projects, it really helps to step back and reflect on how I see each one progressing. The Global PSSL initiative I’m heading up independently, has gathered more pace and is enjoying some significant buy-in from the committed global players. That, combined with my work as ICSF Executive Chair, the ongoing commitment to my students at Exeter, and my work on a book about sustainable finance has given me plenty to think about!

I am pleased to let you know that from an ICSF perspective, I have suggested that we develop technical guidelines for Global PSSL alongside strong engagement. The draft title of the document is ‘Enforcing and Reinforcing Global PSSL: ICSF technical guidelines and pathways for best practice sharing across the EMEA region’. I hope to have this available for members soon after Global PSSL is introduced at the end of November. Alongside this, I have also shared my initial thoughts with the Council Executive members on a new potential ICSF Technical Board, that will focus on the EMEA region in relation to Global PSSL. My request to form a dedicated Technical Board for this initiative, is in recognition that Global PSSL will gain its potential reach and positive impact through experienced planning, informed judgement, and the regional commitment. I want to engage all key EMEA stakeholders in the workings of the new ICSF Technical Board, hence it is vital to have the right contributors on board. More to follow on this in due course.

As the ICSF initiative continues to gain further momentum and profile, I am delighted to announce three new partnerships – Brown Brothers Harriman, the Global Peer Financing Association, and Sharegain. These are unique in that they have strong EMEA interests, whilst also possessing outstanding technical expertise and global connections – something we need in order to develop an EMEA agenda that connects well with Global PSSL. In addition, I will shortly be convening a meeting with our agent lender partners, so that we can jointly work towards broadening our EMEA beneficial owner membership base in line with our commitments.

Finally tomorrow, I will be presenting my report to the ISLA Board – an opportunity to praise the members and partners for their active participation in making 2020 a year of outstanding growth for ICSF. I will also outline some of our bold plans for the future, including the ICSF Technical Board for Global PSSL.

The European sustainable securities lending train is gaining pace, and I would encourage stakeholders to consider how ICSF membership, as beneficial owners or through a rewarding partnership, can let them be a part of these exciting initiatives.

My best wishes for mild and pleasant autumn.

Radek Stech, Chair of ICSF

Back to Blog