Nigel Bloomer, Custodian

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8.15am: Arrive at the office, coat off, boot PC up, make the first coffee of the day and review my overnight e-mail traffic. The bulk of this traffic is informational and doesn't require any direct action. The messages confirm the overnight system update was completed with no problems and reporting to investment managers was delivered within the deadline. The quality control numbers look OK.

There are call reports from various relationship groups and sales and marketing to absorb. Following the coup in Pakistan our network team have produced a report on status and exposure in that market. I have also received copies of a series of internal communications concerning specific client or transactional issues. I'm looking for areas of potential risk or situations where operational difficulties may potentially be affecting our service to clients or investment managers. I forward messages to the section managers to follow up specific concerns.

Two jump out at me. The first involves a trade that has been instructed late by the investment manager in Greece. The Greek exchange will buy the stock in as we have failed to deliver on time. I need to know as soon as possible how much this will cost and whether the investment manager accepts liability or will dispute the facts. The second concerns a series of messages concerning potential late delivery of reports to a client. The client is new and the reports are the first set they are expecting from us. It is critical to get the relationship off to a good start.

9am: Weekly divisional managers meeting. This provides a forum for all the operational managers to meet and update each other on events in their area. Today's meeting is dominated by feedback from the recent strategic meetings held by the various business units in the corporation. Our job is to translate that business development strategy into operational terms and understand what changes we will need to make to continue to support the changing demands of the business. We carve up this task, accepting ownership for various pieces and agree a timetable that ends with a final offsite meeting during which we will agree decisions and priorities.

The other major topic is next year's budget. We are now in the final round of negotiation and we have been asked to slightly revise the London budget. Fortunately, there is a great team spirit and we agree to review our proposals and contribute to the proposed revision. I'll be looking at overtime, temporary labour costs and better travel rates.

10.30am: I return a number of calls received while I was in the meeting. One investment manager wanted to discuss our product development plans for next year. Sales want to know if we could arrange a transition of new business with two weeks' notice (usually we work to an eight-week timetable). Teresa (my boss) calls to ask what ís going on with the client reporting issue I'd picked up on that morning.

11am: STP committee meeting. I established a monthly meeting which aims to improve our straight-through processing rates, and I continue to chair this meeting. I'm regretting it now because of the high level of detail, but we are making good progress so we will persevere. The participants are extremely enthusiastic and lack the discipline of conducting meetings, so strong chairmanship is needed.

11.55am: Phone sales to confirm we can accept the two-week transition notice in this case. I outline the risks involved and make it clear this is a &quotone-off&quot.

12noon: Lunch with senior contacts at a major investment manager relationship. Wide-ranging discussion on industry topics, our plans, their plans and the current state of the relationship. We continue to be highly regarded and have cemented the relationship over a period of rapid growth in both their and our businesses. We resolve to keep it that way.

1.30pm: Access e-mail to catch up on morning traffic. I respond to those messages I received this morning that required some research and thought.

2pm: Discussion with two of my section managers. We need to arrange cover for four impending maternity leavers and two leavers who have taken up positions in client servicing. We also agree on one promotional candidate.

3pm: Discussions with colleagues to catch up on product developments we have in progress, the automation of cash management project, how the new business team are coping with the volumes and the impending office restack.

4pm: Y2K steering committee. Sitting every other week, we cover the integrated system test, facilities report, contingency and event planning and client and investment manager communication.

5pm: Follow up on Greek buy-in, the investment manager accepts liability and resultant $15,000 loss. Follow up on client reporting issue. We have organised a team to complete the necessary processing and get the reports to the client on time. Final review of e-mail traffic. Nothing new to worry about, return a couple of calls including one to my equivalent in Chicago to share the experience of another day. Check the diary to see what tomorrow will bring, close down the PC and say goodnight to those colleagues still around. Off home to bath the baby.

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