Make us your home page

A monster financial operation quietly grows roots in Tampa

(Sung to the tune Walking On Sunshine)

I used to live up North where the buildings reached up to the sky

Ride the subway or ferry or hail a yellow cab passing by

I'd run to catch the 6:23 and have to stand all the way

Just a dreamin' of moving down south to the sweet Tampa Bay

Now I'm walking on sunshine, wo ah

New lyrics sung by the Southern Sounds of DTCC choir at Wednesday's five-year celebration of Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.'s arrival in Tampa.


Ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings and feel-good anniversaries rarely top my got-to-be-there agenda.

DTCC's energy-charged gig Wednesday at a secure facility near Interstate 75 and Bruce B. Downs was a worthy exception — and not just for the music.

First things first. DTCC stands for Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., a Manhattan financial processing juggernaut. It handles the bulk of clearing U.S. securities trades and tracks their ownership.

After a national search, in 2005 DTCC chose Tampa for its Southern Business Center. The idea was to decentralize DTCC from its HQ 10 blocks from the World Trade Center which, after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, felt too vulnerable.

Now DTCC Tampa's 530 employees can handle the firm's business from here, if needed. Last year, Tampa settled U.S. securities transactions worth $1.5 quadrillion.

Visiting from Manhattan, DTCC's CEO Don Donahue noted the firm's challenges amid Wall Street's tumult. When Lehman Bros. failed in the fall of 2008, he said, DTCC found itself with $500 billion to wind down in securities trades still on Lehman's books and all guaranteed by DTCC. It was, Donahue said, "the largest liquidation in U.S. history."

Amid aggressive Wall Street reform efforts now under way, DTCC executives are trying to educate Washington on making complex legislative and regulatory changes for the better. A key area of concern: Finding ways to make global derivatives trading more transparent, more standardized and less political.

It all sounds obscure here in sunny Tampa Bay. But these are the core issues that must be hammered out if we really want to reduce systemic risk and improve the odds against further financial meltdowns.

With such head-throbbing problems to solve, you'd think DTCC employees would be a geeky crew of techies and accountants. Consider that cliche shattered. DTCC's atrium was jam packed with enthused employees, a diverse crowd all wearing bright yellow T-shirts. (Five years ago, the T-shirts were orange.)

You should have heard Wednesday's choir. It rocked with Walking On Sunshine, adding new lyrics about relocating from New York to Tampa. Like this verse:

I used to be frightened by the thunder, lightning and rain

Or the mighty southern winds a blowing just call them by name

But I quickly realized that there was nothing (pause)

Nothing to fear no-no-no

Now it's beaches, palm trees, daiquiri's & Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Whoa! Yeah, yeah

I'm walking on sunshine, wa oh

How often can you seamlessly blend derivatives and daiquiris, or big bucks and the Bucs? It's a win-win here.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at

A monster financial operation quietly grows roots in Tampa 05/26/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 6:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members


    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  4. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion


    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  5. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]