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Travers Smith funds academic research into CREST


Travers Smith LLP has an unparalleled reputation for its innovative legal advice on many of the ground-breaking developments in the UK’s financial market infrastructure over the past 20 years. Our clients provide the core payment, clearing and settlement framework which is fundamental to the integrity of the financial system.

We are particularly proud of our long-standing and deep relationship with the CREST system - the UK and Irish securities settlement system for dematerialised domestic and international equites, government securities and money market instruments. The firm has acted as the main legal adviser to the CREST project from its inception in 1993 to its successful implementation in 1996 and beyond to the present day.    

We are pleased, therefore, to announce that Travers Smith is amongst a group of leading institutions, including BT, CISI, Euroclear and the SWIFT Institute, which are funding a unique academic research project into CREST.  

The research project will be administered by B.I.S.S. Research, the City think tank providing research on innovation in financial markets, and led by a team of international experts in banking technology, innovation and financial markets operations.

The core members of the research team will include Dr. Hermann Rapp from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and Chelmsford, Dr. Marta Gasparin from University of Leicester, and Dr. Cristiana Parisi from Copenhagen Business School. They will analyse the design, implementation and impact on the financial markets of CREST and conduct interviews with key actors of all sectors involved. This research will form the basis of a series of publications and events in 2016/17. BISS Research will publish an Executive Summary Industry Report.

Mark Evans, who is Travers Smith’s relationship partner for the CREST system, commented: “It is impossible to exaggerate the significance of CREST’s successful launch and subsequent operation in maintaining London’s pre-eminence in the international securities markets. CREST was and remains peerless in its courageous and imaginative approach in responding to and resolving the complex business, operational and legal issues that affect the operation of our financial markets. I can think of few better projects that would merit from the kind of comprehensive research analysis that is to be undertaken with our support. I have every expectation that fundamentally important lessons will be identified and subsequently shared for the benefit of all those who maintain an interest in the stability, efficiency and effectiveness of the UK’s financial market infrastructure.”

Gary Wright, C.E.O., B.I.S.S. Research said “I was amazed during our initial research into CREST that so little has been published or analysed of its success. More has been written about TAURUS, the system that failed, than about this remarkable system. This research project will address this gap. Even today when financial markets are under constant change much can be learned from CREST. Twenty years ago it was the most disruptive and innovative system to be introduced into a fragmented and paper based market infrastructure. The changes made by the financial markets to accommodate CREST covered new system designs, new electronic processes and changes in the working lives of people in the markets. With such widespread change, how did the industry come together to build a long lasting solution on time and within budget? There is much that can be learned for today and for the future.”

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