Strate unwraps its new website

Strate is proud to announce that its new website is live, where current and prospective clients will find useful information about our services in a fresh and fluid design that can be viewed on both desktop and mobile versions.


Leigh Bevis, Head of Marketing and Business Development explains, “The digital marketing landscape has changed significantly and people want to interact with content. Strate’s new website is far more visual, which means it’s easier for many users to remember. When customers remember your visual site, which incorporates videos and infographics as content, they also remember your brand and you as a company.”


People visiting Strate’s website will now find that information is much easier to digest in its repackaged form and key products and services have been given prominence as visual blocks on the landing page. “There is movement in some of the diagrams, animations and infographics and the videos provide informative news or views on industry trends, our market or Strate’s services,” Bevis adds.


Given that some content has been shortened, or removed, email addresses have been provided for clients to request the information from the correct people within Strate. Should you wish to access Strate’s Directives, Special Gazettes, or Guidance Practice Notes, then you need to email  to request a copy of the document that you would like to access. (If you have registered for the Strate Exams and require a copy of the Directives as part of your study material, please request this directly from the Strate Academy via


To visit the new site, go to







Strate partners with A2X Markets for Collateral and Settlement Services

On Friday 13 October, 2017, the first non-cash collateral exposure between A2X Markets and one of its brokers was successfully reported and settled using Strate’s Tri-Party Collateral Management Services. This came just over a week after A2X Markets had announced it was operational and  settling transactions on a T+3 settlement cycle using Strate’s settlement infrastructure.


Instead of placing cash to cover the capital exposure requirement (where cash is typically required to cover market and settlement risk), Strate’s collateral solution also enables broker’s to place securities as collateral for their exposure risk on A2X. This frees up cash for the broker, allowing brokers to more efficiently use cash to fund other transactions.


“A2X is excited with the prospects that Strate’s Collateral Management System adds to the market in reducing the risk between trade date and settlement date. Strate’s Collateral Management System brings about high levels of automation and the calling of collateral is seamless to the users,” says Brett Kotze, Head Post-Trade Services at A2X Markets.


Beverley Furman, the Managing Executive of CSD Operations at Strate, adds: “The capital markets are evolving and Strate has been nimble in developing premier solutions that cater for such dynamic players. A2X has an innovative business model that further decreases risk and capital costs for brokers, which ties into Strate’s philosophy of creating solutions that are efficient, reduce risk and add value to stakeholders. We are proud to be partnering with A2X Markets and its clients for both settlement and collateral solutions.”


Financial services companies, African Rainbow Capital Investments (AIL), Peregrine Holdings (PGR) and Coronation Fund Managers (CML) are the first counters to have a secondary listing on A2X Markets. It has approved RMB Morgan Stanley, Peregrine Securities, Investec Securities and Avior Capital Markets as its stockbrokers, with more brokerages expected to be approved in coming weeks.


A2X Markets was officially granted its licence by the Financial Services Board in April 2017, then becoming the country’s fourth licensed South African exchange and Strate’s newest client. It is targeting many of the largest companies currently listed on the JSE, to secondary list on A2X Markets. It says it is also offering brokers material discounts to transact in these shares, while maintaining the high standard of regulation as set by the Financial Market Act.



You can now watch videos from the 2017 Strate GIBS Fintech Innovation Conference Online

To provide you with a holistic understanding of the impact emerging FinTechs will have on the future of financial services, GIBS partnered with Strate to host the Fintech Innovation Conference during August 2017.


The videos for the following topics are now available online:



Please click on the respective topics to access the video directly, or visit Strate’s YouTube channel to watch our videos online.





Strate Collateral Management Services (SCMS): An automated, compliant Tri-Party Collateral solution that completely meets the market’s collateral needs

Regulation for cleared and non-cleared derivatives has driven the themes of collateral transparency, segregation, collateral tracking , standard reporting requirements and eligibility. Upcoming regulation, such as Secured Funding Transaction Reporting (SFTR), is further driving these themes at a transactional level for securities lending and borrowing, margin lending, commodities lending and borrowing and repurchase transactions. It is clear that the administrative burden on secured funding transactions is only going to increase in the foreseeable future, especially as collateralisation takes place on a per security basis.  It is therefore critical to have certainty that each transaction undertaken, whether on a pledge or cession basis, fully complies with local market regulations in an efficient manner.


Strate offers a Tri-Party collateral product called Strate Collateral Management Services (SCMS), which is offered in addition to the traditional pledge and cession options. SCMS fully automates collateralisation processes between collateral givers and receivers, as well as the underlying post-trade ‘plumbing’, to ensure that transactions are effected efficiently and in compliance with local regulations, while futureproofing against upcoming regulations. This functionality fully alleviates the administrative burden typically associated with both pledge and cession transactions. This is achieved by Strate’s direct integration to the CSD Participants of collateral givers and receivers, and the use of segregated depository accounts.  The solution is abstracted above the settlements layer and is able to manage complex collateral rules and then automatically execute the most optimal collateral by instructing custodians in an efficient, compliant and accurate manner.


Typically, pledging at a securities level has been a significant administrative burden. However, with SCMS, pledges are perfected at a securities level in terms of Section 39(1) of the Financial Markets Act via an automated system in just a few minutes, with no manual intervention or administration required from users. This enables highly efficient intra-day collateral substitutions on an unlimited basis.  SCMS further extends this automation by allowing collateral givers to trade out of a single account, while at the same time enabling both cession and pledge of securities at an ISIN level – as corporate events, pending sales and reserved securities are already factored into the solution’s algorithm. Collateral optimisation is thus enabled for collateral givers, as they will not be required to manage collateral between separate collateral accounts  and keep ‘buffer’ collateral in order to meet needs of multiple collateral receivers.


The SCMS solution is already live in the South African market and has enabled the automated use of both pledge and cession constructs across multiple exposure types  and categories of financial and non-financial institutions.


If you are interested in learning more about our Tri-Party Collateral Services, please contact Steve Everett on +27 11 7595496.


CloudMargin and South Africa’s First Tri-Party Collateral Agent – Strate Collateral Management – Bring Unprecedented Automation, Efficiencies to South African OTC Derivatives Participants

South African market participants can now enjoy unprecedented automation and straight-through processing by leveraging newly available, integrated cloud-based technology to exchange tri-party SWIFT1 messaging for collateral instructions, settlement and confirmations. CloudMargin, the multi-award winning creator of the world’s first web-based collateral and margin management solution, and Strate, the South African Central Securities Depository (CSD) and South Africa’s first Tri-Party Collateral Management Agent, today announced that they have just integrated their platforms. The move makes tri-party messaging and collateral optimisation more accessible for both buy- and sell-side participants in the country.


The agreement enables clients to efficiently and seamlessly use their collateral held at Strate to cover their margin calls in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market. For local market participants without their own SWIFT membership, this previously would have been a time-consuming, manual process to handle messaging related to collateral instructions, confirmations and settlement. Now, they can take advantage of the CloudMargin and Strate Collateral Management Services straight-through processing capability via SWIFT.


Due to the fact that the solution is cloud based, collateral management clients can implement it quickly at a reasonable cost, the firms said.


Lee McCormack CloudMargin Head of Strategy, said: “We are delighted to roll out this breakthrough service in conjunction with Strate Collateral Management Services to market participants in South Africa, helping them increase their efficiencies via our cloud-based platform. We are continuing to build an inter-connected network of organisations globally that give clients one-stop access to a broad range of collateral management and other related services for cleared and uncleared derivatives transactions.”


Steve Everett, General Manager of Strate Collateral Management Services, said: “We are delighted to partner with CloudMargin to provide a fully integrated, cost-effective and powerful collateral management capability to the South African market. This comes at a time when firms here are preparing to meet the requirements of the non-cleared OTC derivatives margin regulation due to take effect on Sept. 1, which will require enhanced collateral management capability from both the buy-side and the sell-side.”




CSD Working Group Releases Product Requirements for General Meeting Proxy Voting on Distributed Ledger

CSD Working Group on DLT, an association of Central Securities Depositories working on developing reference products using Distributed Ledger Technology, has released product requirements for the proxy voting business case during the International Securities Services Association (ISSA) Operational Committee meeting in London on April 24, 2017.


The document titled “General Meeting Proxy Voting on Distributed Ledger: Product Requirements” contains requirements to all technical aspects of the product:

  1. Functional requirements for the process, described as a minimal viable product aimed at a generic market, and extension functionality that covers specific local needs of the markets in Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Chile, Nordic and Baltic countries.
  2. Non-functional requirements.
  3. Trust requirements, enabling to provide the value typically associated with DLT-based solutions.
  4. Baseline data entities, roles and their access rights.


The document aims to provide a complete description of a reference product for proxy voting – one that can be used by business in most markets worldwide. The priorities of the working group were to capture the business value of using DLT in the field of proxy voting without completely reworking established business practices.


Alexander Chekanov, Enterprise Architect at NSD, the leader of the working group, says: “With this effort, we aim to provide clarity to the infrastructure operators and market participants in how to implement DLT-based solutions in their local markets and to create value associated with the technology. Proxy Voting has served as an excellent business case where the advantages are both visible and easy to achieve without causing a major disruption on the market. For NSD in particular, it is one of the many steps that we take to make Russian post-trade infrastructure more open and reliable for both the local market and internationally”.


Monica Singer, CEO of Strate, says: “Strate has always maintained that collaboration with key market players and experts leads to the successful implementation of industry-wide projects that add significant value to the markets. Distributed ledger technology has opened the doors to a new world of how people can transact and we’re excited to be an integral part of this journey, where we’re changing history. Together with other working group members, we have embraced this technology to improve the financial markets and are excited at the progress being made on proxy voting using distributed ledger technology”.


Javier Jara, Commercial and Legal Affairs Manager at DCV, says: “For the Central Securities Deposit of Chile, it is very important to be part of this project as one of the representatives of Latin America, it implies being in the leadership of projects that use Blockchain technology for Securities Deposits. In particular, this project of Proxy Voting raised the common requirements to all markets, allowing the incorporation of extensions that adapt to other specific markets, so when this project reaches the Chilean market, will already be thought of local needs. We hope to continue working with our colleagues from other Central Securities Depositaries around the world, to increase in the collaboration and support in adaptations and developments in new technologies”.


The document has been produced by the working group during the period between October 2016 and April 2017 and involved collaboration between NSD, Strate (South African CSD), SIX Securities Services (European ICSD based in Switzerland), Nasdaq (CSD in Nordic and Baltic region) and DCV (CSD of Chile). The presentation to the ISSA Operational Committee in London on April 24th was the first public reveal of the document.


The group is continuing to work on the business case of proxy voting on DLT. Future updates of the document will be focused on:

  • business value distillation for infrastructure operators and market participants,
  • standardization and formal alignment with the existing market practices and ISO20022 standard,
  • extensions for more markets worldwide.


The latest version of the document is available online (Click here).


The CSD Working Group on DLT welcomes any feedback or collaboration opportunities from potential partners. To get in touch with the working group, please contact one of the member organizations:



National Settlement Depository, Russia Alexander Chekanov
Strate, South Africa Tanya Knowles
SIX Securities Services, Switzerland Urs Sauer
Nasdaq, Nordic Henri Bergström
Depósito Central de Valores, Chile Claudio Calderón




Strate: A Pioneer of Exchange-of-Value Settlement Solutions

All too often, good infrastructure goes unnoticed. This is probably one of the reasons why few South Africans know and understand the country’s Central Securities Depository, Strate, however, without it, investors would shy away from South Africa.
Prior to the implementation of Strate in 1999, SA was categorised as one of the worst emerging markets in terms of operational and settlement risk. Trading volumes on the stock exchange were averaging 4,000 trades daily, very thin when this is compared to the 350 000 on average during a month today.

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Infographic: Strate Fast facts

From a Thomas Murray AA- rating, to Strate being ranked among the top Central Securities Depositories globally, click here to view an infographic that tells you all the fast facts that you need to know about Strate.



CSDs Sign Letter of Intent to Collaborate on Initiatives using Distributed Ledger Technology

The Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) Strate, South Africa and NSD, Russia have signed a Letter of Intent at the Sibos event in Geneva in September 2016.


The intention is to forge a partnership between the two CSDs to develop solutions utilizing Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) with the first use case focused on proxy voting. The parties believe that through industry-wide collaboration, CSDs will be better positioned to face the changes presented by DLT technology and develop innovative solutions for the benefit of the financial market.


DLT, which has emerged as a relatively new and rapidly growing innovative technology, is set to revolutionise the financial markets and fundamentally create a paradigm shift. Given that there is the potential for financial markets to create a distributed ledger that settles securities transactions, financial market infrastructures need to embrace the technology and identify opportunities that will add value to their current clients.


This relationship allows both parties to explore opportunities for mutual cooperation in the post-trade settlement arena including:


* Information sharing regarding standards, regulations and DLT technologies.

* The exploration of solutions that are of mutual benefit to both CSDs; as well as

* Potential cost savings through the sharing of technology and development costs.


A number of other CSDs have expressed interest in joining the partnership and Strate / NSD have welcomed these discussions.


Monica Singer, CEO of Strate, says “It is an important time for CSDs to be working together to define the future landscape in the DLT environment. Strate looks forward to developing this long-standing and valuable relationship with NSD to develop solutions for emerging market CSDs”.


Eddie Astanin, chairman of the executive board, NSD comments “We believe that the securities settlement and custody industry is one of the promising sectors where we can use new technologies. I think that post-trading may become the starting point of transition of the distributed ledger technology and blockchain from theory to practice. In 2015, we began research and initiated new developments; since that time we have developed valuable expertise in this sphere, and now we are eager to share it with our colleagues. “


In April 2016, National Settlement Depository was one of the first financial organizations in the world that announced the development of a blockchain-based prototype of e-proxy voting.


Mr. Astanin added that “fast development of technologies and the huge number of startups that enter the market every month is a challenge of our time for major companies. We have to be one step ahead of everyone else and to use the opportunities we have now. Only the united efforts of the largest players in our industry will enable them to respond to new challenges and integrate new technologies.”

Revolutionising South Africa’s Bond Settlement Model

With an average of R2.4 trillion bonds under Strate’s custody, Strate’s bond market clients will soon enjoy using one of the best and most-used CSD technologies globally, the TCS BaNCS Market Infrastructure (MI). It will enable the move from older technology ISO15022 standards to ISO20022 standards. Issuers will also be provided with an interface that can enable them to do their top-ups, redemptions, make calls or check balances directly with the CSD.  The streamlined corporate actions processes are expected to offer better, faster entitlement communication and payment distribution.


Strate is well on its way in introducing the revolutionary bond settlement system that uses a Securities Ownership Register (SOR) and provides numerous benefits to the market – such as ready support for segregated depository accounts and multiple settlement runs.


The technology also has the functionality for corporates to apply to become a direct CSD Participant at Strate. The technology allows a move away from omnibus account structures and break those down into individual or institutional accounts, an internationally-recognised best practice known as the SOR. The SOR is already utilised in Strate’s technology that settles money market securities. The introduction of an SOR provides issuers with real-time access to their note holders and improves transparency for the market.


Institutional clients, individuals and issuers that have their own accounts at the CSD will continue to have these operated by their CSD Participant. The technology will also enable member settled accounts, which provides the details of institutions or individuals sitting under stock brokers’ accounts. Strate’s solution allows the stock exchange to supply it with the information on a daily basis, uploaded directly into its system.


While South Africa is used to bonds settling on a T+3 settlement cycle in the Strate environment, the new system can cater for any settlement cycle from T+0 upwards. Its functionality also allows for back-to-back links across different markets; so if an asset is bought on exchange and is sold on the over-the-counter market, this functionality allows for greater efficiencies across all these markets.


TCS BaNCS MI for bonds will continue to use central bank funds to facilitate the payment leg of the transaction, ensuring risk mitigation remains a priority through simultaneous, final and irrevocable delivery versus payment (SFIDvP). In terms of this,  securities can never move without the cash being paid, or vice versa, irrespective of the settlement cycle. Furthermore, it provides multiple settlement runs to minimise failure.


The bonds  implementation is scheduled for mid-2017 forms part of a wider programme where Strate will replace its IT infrastructure for all asset classes. The implementation of money markets took place in February 2016, while the equities market will be switched over at later stages using a phased approach.


The new infrastructure offers the market a streamlined service, as multiple systems are consolidated into one. Strate is now in a position to offer more innovative products to the market in a much shorter time, using the new system.