Fernando Yáñez: “I leave with the satisfaction and pride of having led a company that has been key in the development of the capital market and therefore of Chile”
The historic General Manager of DCV leaves his office on March 31st. In this interview, he reviews the origins of the institution and the principal milestones of its mandate.
March 31st will be the last day that Fernando Yáñez enters the Depósito Central de Valores as its General Manager. That day, and after 28 years leading the institution, he will step aside and, Rodrigo Roblero, the current Planning, IT and Finance Manager will take his place. What started - more than 30 years ago - as the development of a business line at Citibank (which then continued with a project with 10 people) culminated in an institution with more than 250 collaborators. In effect, DCV has become a key entity in terms of security, trust, and transparency for the growth of the market in Chile.
He says he is happy for the almost three decades in charge of DCV. “I have a friend who asked me after establishing DCV the following: what other challenges do you have? The answer is that you have new ideas every day. I was never bored, and neither today. I am leaving with the satisfaction and pride of having led a company that has been key in the development of the capital market and therefore of Chile.
How did the need to create a securities depository in Chile arise?
I worked for more than 11 years at Citibank, and it was precisely the last years at Citi that gave life to what DCV is today. At this time, the bank was very involved in various market modernizations in the world, Chile included. There I had to develop the entire custody business internally: we started with physical paper, vaults, and coupon payments (cortes de cupones), among other tasks. So, in parallel, it became very natural for a securities depository to develop in Chile. In fact, there were several institutions that tried to do it without success.
At the end of 1989, the law that established the legal framework for the creation of the securities depository was enacted. It was revolutionary, because it modernized the way of exchanging the securities traded in the market, and gave the possibility of immobilizing them in such a way that it was not necessary to move them physically, with all the risks associated with potential losses and falsifications; then allowed dematerialization and facilitated transactions through account systems. Meanwhile, worldwide, the need for these institutions that could mitigate risks, facilitate exchanges and transactions, and provide greater security was already clear. In this context, groups of private institutions and the World Bank, such as the International Monetary Fund made many recommendations. Currently, these types of companies are governed by the 24 principles of CPSS-IOSCO.
How did this idea advance in Chile?
Towards the end of the 1990s, the Stock Exchange and Citibank saw the possibility of jointly developing a securities depository, all under the newly enacted law. The then General Manager of the Stock Exchange, Enrique Goldfarb, was a great promoter of the project. With him we worked on the first structures and objectives and went out to sell the project, and when we had it well set up, at the end of 1991, we went to talk with the then superintendent, Hugo Lavados. He was visionary and urged us to create a securities depository where there were not just two proprietary institutions. And that is how conversations began with the different trade union associations in the market, resulting in an ownership agreement that, except for minor changes, is maintained to this day: 30% to issuers (banks), 30% to intermediaries (the stock exchanges), 30% institutional investors (AFP) and, the remaining 10%, remained in the hands of life insurance companies.
They were years of work and where we gave shape to the project. Worldwide, there were already several depository models in operation, which represented interesting models to study. Finally, we opted for the logical design of the CETIP system, of the Brazilian market, and began with the development of the computer system that has been with us to this day. At that time, 10 people were working in the project, among whom Fernando Yáñez remembers María Isabel Fernández, who still works at DCV.
What was it like to go out to attract clients? How was the market reception?
It meant a lot of work. We were very excited and determined to find clients, but we had to get them excited. So, we proposed different incentive plans that were successful in capturing them. In parallel, and before we went full on with the system, we moved the securities of the AFPs, from the Central Bank to our new vault and, with it, the 15 people who worked in the custody area at the Bank. At that time, we were already in the offices that we would occupy for many years; Paseo Huérfanos 770, where we build a specially designed vault to receive the securities in circulation in the market. In September 1995, DCV began to operate as we know it today, settling the first operations carried out in the market.
By 2000, DCV was consolidated, and a key milestone was produced according to Yáñez: the creation of the affiliate DCV Registros.
“The affiliate could become a reality with the start of the shareholder registry management service for Enersis, Endesa and other affiliates of the group. Likewise, we learned about the business, incorporating new collaborators, who were led by Manuel Arriagada.”
Then came the purchases of the following companies: Stock, Comber y Cía. and Sonda BPO, which enabled the affiliate to grow rapidly.
The Chilean securities market had a string of scandals from the Inverlink case to the bankruptcy of a couple of brokers a few years ago. How did these events affect DCV?
In 2003 the Inverlink event happened. We had developed the dematerialized term deposit, but very few banks and investors were using it. After this event, the deposit of dematerialized DPFs accelerates and that market begins to be completely settled through DCV’s systems. Later came several frauds regarding brokers. In some way, all these facts were ratifying the importance and key role that DCV plays in the market.
During the last 10 years, DCV’s roadmap has been marked by developing new services for the local market, as well as establishing relationships with international securities depositories (DTCC in New York and Euroclear in Europe), allowing it to offer international custody services to Chilean companies that invest abroad. It was followed by integration with the MILA depositories (Peru, Colombia, and Mexico). Currently, the DCV Evolution (DCVe) project is underway, together with Nasdaq, which will allow the total renovation of the core system. On the other hand, there is a considerable set of projects, which will allow the growth of the new DCV affiliate, DCV Asesorías y Servicios S.A.
What role has the board of directors played and especially its Chairman, Sergio Baeza, who has also led the board these 28 years?
DCV’s corporate governance has always been one of excellence, due to the way it operates and, especially, due to the human and professional quality of all its members. Today, apart from the 10-member board of directors, there are 5 committees that deal with different issues and support its management. I only have words to thank the board of directors and, especially, with whom I worked directly throughout this period, its chairman, Sergio Baeza. He has guided this team and has put a very special stamp on its management, with professional talent, moderation, and a lot of respect, always making contributions to grow.
With so many projects still going on, why did you decide to leave right now?
I feel that I have done my job and that the conditions are in place for a smooth change. The most important factor is that my successor works within the Company and is prepared to provide continuity to the management -together with all the collaborators-, which I am sure will help to successfully complete all the projects currently in force.
How would you like the people of DCV to remember you?
I would like to be remembered as one team member out of the many that made DCV great, of those who always look for advance in the face of adversity and manages how to convince people to grow. I always sought to bring out the best in people, letting them grow and challenge themselves in their positions; I am convinced that happy people make a difference in companies.