The panoramic view of lower Manhattan from Swift's New York City offices in Times Square affords a fitting backdrop for Swift's new head of the Americas to talk about extending the not-for-profit cooperative's reach at a time of monumental change in global financial markets. The proprietary communications network has already expanded its role beyond the banking sector to the securities industry and now sees a bigger part to play in the corporate arena, where the need for better connectivity to manage cash effectively and increase visibility of global liquidity has never been greater.

Chris Church became Swift's CEO for the Americas and global head of securities in August, just before the financial crisis took on epic proportions. Church brings 20 years experience in financial services, the last eight spent in the shared market infrastructure space as part of the executive team that founded financial extranet Radianz in 2000 and then as head of BT Global Financial Services after BT acquired Radianz.

While the financial crisis is still reshaping global markets and the way business will be conducted going forward, Church sees a major role emerging for Swift as the ultimate shared service. With revenues and margins declining and looming regulation likely to reduce financial industry returns by 4%, firms are restructuring their business models, he says. "It's a time when TCO [total cost of ownership] is going to be paramount."

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