Euroclear group CEO
"Sustained focus and investment in the group's strategic imperatives, as well as its diversified business model, led to business income growth of 12% year on year, well ahead of our strategic plans."
Business Resilience, Strategic Progress
I am very proud of how we achieved such a strong performance in 2020 and I would like to highlight two key reasons.
Firstly, we adapted seamlessly to implement full remote working to protect the health of staff and to continue providing service to our clients.
The majority of this shift in working arrangements came in March, a period when financial markets were extremely volatile and customer transaction volumes exceptionally high. Service levels throughout this period remained high, with our systems performing well and our people going the extra mile in support of customers throughout this challenging time.
Ensuring business continuity was the foundation of the group’s performance last year, and was largely thanks to the dedication of Euroclear colleagues, despite difficult circumstances. I would like to say thank you to them all. They have demonstrated great adaptability and are already beginning to adopt new ways of working that continue to boost employee engagement, effectiveness and well-being in tomorrow’s more digital workplace.
Secondly, we have continued to deliver the group’s business strategy to strengthen, grow and reshape the Euroclear network.
Sustained focus and investment in the group’s strategic imperatives, as well as its diversified business model, led to business income growth of 12% year on year, well ahead of our strategic plans. This strong business income performance offset substantially weaker interest, banking and other income due to the impact of the lower interest rate environment.
When we look at the financials more closely, it is clear that our five year strategy is progressing well. Business income operating margin (which excludes interest income) is our key strategic metric of growth and efficiency. This expanded to 33% in 2020, which is already within the group’s target range of low-to-mid thirties, three years ahead of our initial plan.
Continuing to invest in the future
I believe that Euroclear is well equipped to grasp its future opportunities. Over the past years, we have invested carefully in its technology, people, regulatory imperatives and customer proposition as a systemically important financial market infrastructure. Today, every operating entity holds a licence under the CSD Regulation, which represents a hallmark of quality.
These investments mean that Euroclear is well positioned at the centre of the global capital markets ecosystem, and its strategy is targeted at extending its capacity to meet participants evolving requirements.
At the core, all participants want to have a trusted partner where assets can be held and mobilised safely, and transactions can take place efficiently and reliably. Business resilience, as well as access to liquidity and collateral management solutions, remain vital for many clients. In 2020, on average, the group processed securely transactions worth the entire annual global economic product on a monthly basis.
As economies seek to emerge from the crisis, there is likely to be a sustained increase in demand for Euroclear to connect both companies and countries, both in Europe and beyond, to its global investor community.
And finally, as an open architecture platform, we are building strong partnerships with the financial markets to capture the opportunities ahead. Euroclear is well placed to play a pivotal role as the industry further harnesses opportunities from leveraging data, digital technology and the rise of sustainable finance.
Committed to sustainability
The broader events of the past year have undoubtedly heightened the focus by all of us on sustainability matters and the broader public good. Issuers and investors alike are seeking to incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into their securities profiles and investment processes, especially in support of a post Covid-19 economic recovery.
As a place of issuance, with access to a global network of investors, Euroclear actively supports such initiatives, which include the European Union’s SURE programme and NextGenerationEU recovery instrument.
Over the past decade, our GlobalReach programme has acted as a means for inclusion, by providing governments around the globe with access to cheaper financing from the international investor community. This funding is frequently used for infrastructure and local development projects. With expertise in matching local funding needs with global resource, Euroclear intends to partner with the financial industry to support growth of the ESG finance agenda.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to all our customers for entrusting their business with us, to employees and partners for their continued efforts, and to you, our shareholder community, for your confidence.
We look forward to serving global financial markets in 2021 and beyond.
Thank you and take care.
Lieve Mostrey, Euroclear group CEO