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Equilend : EquiLend 10th Anniversary
equilend – 10 yeaRS of innovaTion 08 S an Francisco in the late 1990s was at the heart of the gold rush and at BGI we were right in the middle of it. The reality is that there were many parallels between the dot-com boom and the original 1849 gold rush on which San Francisco was founded, in terms of its effect on GDP, the movement of people and the inflation of property values. But this time, in financial services at least, the rush was driven more by fear than greed. There was a palpable concern, because of the intangible nature of our industry, that it was a ripe and obvious target for disintermediation by the internet. This meant that everyone was examining their existing securities finance business model to see how they could use the internet to improve their offering. There was a feeling that if we didn’t engage this technology, someone else would get there before us. Entrepreneurs and those with tangential relationships to the Commissioned officer Judith Robertson was running BGI’s securities lending business when EquiLend was established. She talks about the drama of the early months and how EquiLend helped to demonstrate the benefits of cooperation to a sceptical sector EL.indb 8 26/08/2011 09:53