State Street is putting the finishing touches on a new 12-strong team specialising in collateral management and derivatives processing in Sydney.

The chief operating officer there is Paul Khoury and a derivative-management team is headed by Mark Shepherd. Both report to State Street veteran Mike Brager. Brager, Asia-Pacific COO for State Street Global Services, is an Australian who has been based in Hong Kong for the past three years.

He has been in charge of an Asian expansion by establishing 'centres of excellence' across the region.

Brager says collateral management centres are already running in the US and Europe and the fact that one has been put in the Asia-Pacific region reflects the growing importance of this area to clients. Collateral management is viewed not just as a lucky back-office by-product, but an increasingly important way to manage risk across a portfolio.

More clients require real-time information and sophisticated tools to measure counterparty exposure and risk. State Street offers this on an outsourced basis as well and, over the past 18 months, has begun to hear interest among Asian clients.

The 'centre of excellence' strategy includes accounting and back-office processing done out of Hangzhou and compliance reporting and corporate actions conducted from Hong Kong.

Brager joined State Street as a portfolio administrator in 1990. He has spent time in the bank's Boston office and has worked as the director of operations at State Street Australia.