By now it’s fair to say the unclaimed property community is aware of third party auditors recent focus on securities, specifically the publicly traded shares of corporations of all shapes and sizes. Client generated activity (”CGA”) and contact have a red carpet worthy spotlight on them and constantly changing legislation makes compliance a never ending battle. Transfer agents, publicly traded companies and their advocates have their work cut out for them. But what lies beyond securities?
There are additional unique challenges facing the financial services industry beyond securities. As a financial services professional involved with or responsible for the unclaimed property process, are you aware of what else is out there? The answer to that question is part of what makes understanding the impact of unclaimed property issues on the financial services industry so difficult to assess. Let’s start with two basic questions: how well do you know your organization, and how well do you know your clients?
Knowing Your Organization
Having spent a combined 7 years managing the unclaimed property process at two different international investment banks, I was surprised to see that no matter how much I thought I knew and the awareness I brought to the process, there was always something I didn’t know. And that’s no fault of my own. I noticed that although people in my organizations knew there were aged credit balances out there or that our firm was performing a process different from our peers, they didn’t quite understand what unclaimed property was nor were they aware of the escheatment process. Through my experience, I found the keys were education and asking thought provoking questions as often as possible to anyone you think might be knowledgeable of a process. Be known as the “squeaky wheel” – someone will pay attention.