EUROPE – Pension funds have again rated Pictet as the best global custodian in the latest survey of the custody business by UK firm R&M Consultants.
Swiss-based Pictet was ranked first by pension funds with a score of 6.05 out of a potential seven. The firm also took the overall top slot – which includes the views of fund managers - with a score of 5.82.
Pension funds ranked UBS second, up from third last year, with Mellon Group slipping to third from second.
In the overall ranking, Societe Generale was second to Pictet, with a score of 5.75. Third was RBC Global Services with 5.61.
Societe Generale was ranked first by fund managers who have third party relationships with custodians. The French bank scored 5.75, and pushed Pictet into second place with UBS coming from sixth equal in 2002 to third in 2003.
Fund managers who have direct relationships with custodians rated Pictet first, up from third last year. Societe Generale went straight in at number two in this category, with RBC gaining one place to third.
Most improved overall was the Bank of New York, which saw a 0.47 change.
“Despite a year of turmoil and collapsing values on the world’s stock markets the global custody industry can hold its head up high as standards and service levels have risen over the past 12 months,” says Richard Hogsflesh, managing director of R&M Consultants which compiled the survey.
Just one bank this year scored under five points, compared to five last year. “This suggests that at long last the core basics of custody: the settlement of trades, collection of income and reporting back to clients have finally become commodities that every custodian can deliver,” R&M says.
R&M says the results fall into three groups – the giants with over five trillion dollars, the “chunky” with a trillion or more and the specialists, with “only billions!”
In the first category were State Street, J P Morgan, Bank of New York and Citibank. In the second were the Mellon Group via its alliances with ABN Amro and CIBC, RBC Global Services, Northern Trust, Brown Brothers Harriman, BNP Paribas and HSBC.
The third group comprises Pictet, UBS and Credit Suisse.