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March 25, 2024

What Investment Advisors Need to Know: Impact On and Preparing for T+1
6 min read

How Investment Advisors Can Prepare for T+1 Settlement

Strategies for Investment Advisors Trade +1 dayThe transition to a T+1 settlement cycle, shortening the time between trade execution and settlement from two business days (T+2) to one (T+1), heralds a significant shift in the securities industry. This move aims to enhance market efficiency, reduce counterparty risk, and improve capital utilization. For investment advisors, adapting to T+1 is not just about compliance; it’s an opportunity to refine investment strategies, improve client communication, and leverage technology for better service delivery. Here’s what you need to know to navigate this change effectively.

Understanding the Impact

Grasping the full spectrum of T+1’s impact is essential for investment advisors, as it illuminates the challenges and opportunities presented by this accelerated settlement cycle, shaping the way they manage and advise on investments.

Reduced Settlement Risk: The shorter cycle reduces the time horizon for changes in market conditions, thereby lowering the settlement risk. Investment advisors must understand this dynamic as it affects liquidity and trading strategies.

Increased Operational Efficiency: The push for T+1 necessitates more efficient trade processing systems and back-office operations. Advisors should be ready for faster turnaround times and potentially tighter windows for trade corrections and cancellations.

Technology and Automation: The move to T+1 underscores the importance of investing in technology and automation. Systems that offer real-time data processing, automated trade reconciliation, and advanced risk management tools will become indispensable.

Preparing for T+1: Strategies for Investment Advisors

As the financial industry braces for the transition to a T+1 settlement cycle, investment advisors find themselves at a pivotal juncture, necessitating a strategic approach to navigate the forthcoming changes efficiently and effectively.

T+1 Strategies for Investment AdvisorsReview and Upgrade Technology: Assess your current technology stack to ensure it can handle the increased speed of settlement. Consider automated solutions for trade processing, risk management, and client reporting to enhance operational efficiency.

1. Evaluate Current Systems: Start with a comprehensive review of your existing technology stack. This includes trade execution platforms, portfolio management systems, compliance tools, and client communication channels. Identify any gaps or bottlenecks that could hinder your ability to meet the T+1 deadline. This evaluation should also consider the scalability of your systems to handle increased trading volumes and data processing needs.

2. Embrace Automation: The key to thriving in a T+1 world lies in automation. Automated trade processing and reconciliation systems can significantly reduce manual errors and ensure timely settlement. Look for solutions that offer end-to-end automation, from trade execution to settlement and reporting. This not only supports compliance with T+1 but also frees up valuable time for advisors to focus on client service and strategic decision-making.

3. Leverage Cloud Technologies: Cloud-based solutions offer scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency, making them ideal for adapting to T+1 requirements. Cloud services can quickly adapt to changes in trading volume and regulatory requirements, ensuring that your operations remain resilient and responsive. Additionally, cloud technologies facilitate remote access to systems and data, enhancing collaboration among team members and ensuring continuity of service.

4. Invest in Data Analytics and AI: Advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) can provide actionable insights for optimizing trading strategies and managing risk in a T+1 environment. These technologies can analyze vast amounts of market data in real-time, helping advisors make informed decisions quickly. AI-driven tools can also identify patterns and trends that may not be apparent to human analysts, providing a competitive edge in market analysis and investment decision-making.

5. Prioritize Cybersecurity: With the increased reliance on technology and the faster pace of transactions, cybersecurity becomes even more critical. Investment advisors must ensure that their technology upgrades include robust security measures to protect against data breaches and cyber attacks. This includes encryption, secure authentication methods, and regular security audits to identify and address vulnerabilities.

6. Partner with Technology Providers: For many investment advisors, developing in-house solutions for every technological need may not be feasible or cost-effective. Partnering with specialized technology providers can offer access to state-of-the-art systems and expertise without the overhead of developing and maintaining them internally. When selecting technology partners, consider their experience with T+1 implementations, their commitment to ongoing support and updates, and their ability to integrate with your existing systems.

Refine Investment Strategies: The shortened cycle affects liquidity and funding needs. Advisors should review their investment strategies to adapt to these changes, possibly shifting towards more liquid assets or revising their approach to risk management.

Enhance Client Communication: Educate your clients about what T+1 means for their investments, including potential benefits like reduced counterparty risk and implications for trade execution and settlement.

strengthen operational processesStrengthen Operational Processes: Revisit your operational workflows to identify areas for improvement. This includes ensuring compliance with the new settlement timeline, enhancing the accuracy of trade execution, and streamlining reconciliation processes.

  1. Automate and Streamline Workflows: Leverage automation tools to minimize manual interventions, reduce the risk of errors, and increase processing speed. This could include automating trade confirmations, settlement notifications, and reconciliation processes. Streamlining workflows not only enhances efficiency but also allows staff to focus on more strategic tasks that add value to client relationships.
  2. Enhance Data Management: Robust data management practices are crucial for quick and accurate decision-making and reporting in a T+1 environment. Investment advisors should ensure their data is centralized, accessible, and reliable. Implementing advanced data analytics tools can help in identifying trends, managing risks, and making informed investment decisions swiftly.
  3. Improve Client Communication: The transition to T+1 necessitates more prompt and transparent communication with clients regarding trades, settlements, and any potential issues. Advisors should evaluate their current communication channels and consider adopting more real-time communication tools such as secure client portals or automated alerts to keep clients informed and engaged.
  4. Collaborate with Custodians and Brokers: Effective collaboration and communication with custodians and brokers are more critical than ever in a T+1 settlement framework. Investment advisors should work closely with their partners to ensure seamless trade execution, settlement, and reporting. This might involve regular reviews of service level agreements, joint testing of systems for T+1 compatibility, and establishing protocols for handling exceptions and discrepancies.
  5. Training and Development: Educating and training staff about the implications of T+1 and new operational processes is essential. Investment advisors should invest in continuous learning opportunities for their teams to keep them abreast of the latest industry developments, technological tools, and compliance requirements. This ensures that the entire organization is prepared and responsive to the challenges and opportunities that T+1 presents.

Partner with Reliable Custodians and Brokers: The efficiency of custodians and brokers in processing trades will become even more critical. Evaluate your partners for their readiness for T+1 and consider their technology and operational resilience.

Looking Ahead

The shift to T+1 is more than a regulatory adjustment; it’s a catalyst for broader transformation in the investment advisory landscape. Embracing this change requires a proactive approach, focusing not just on compliance, but on leveraging the opportunities it presents for improved client service and competitive advantage.

Investment advisors who anticipate the challenges, invest in the right technologies, and adapt their strategies accordingly will be well-positioned to thrive in a T+1 environment. As the industry evolves, staying ahead of regulatory changes and technological advancements will continue to be key to delivering superior investment advice and maintaining client trust.


The transition to T+1 represents a significant milestone in the ongoing evolution of the financial markets. For investment advisors, it brings both challenges and opportunities. By understanding the implications, preparing operationally, and embracing technological innovation, advisors can not only comply with the new requirements but also enhance their service offering, ultimately benefiting their clients and strengthening their position in the market.