The reference data utility model is gaining traction with some firms joining SmartStream’s Reference Data Utility (RDU) and others building their own internal solutions, but whatever the selected solution, the overarching interest is in improving data quality and reducing the cost of data management.
The establishment and development of the SmartStream RDU by SmartStream and three leading banks, as well as the challenges and opportunities of participating in a reference data utility, were discussed during this week’s A-Team Group webinar, The Reference Data Utility: How and why Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley are on board. The webinar was moderated by A-Team Group editor Sarah Underwood and joined by the founders of the SmartStream RDU, Thomas Dunlap, managing director at Goldman Sachs; Henry Cotrotsios, program manager at JPMorgan Chase; Eric Suss, managing director at Morgan Stanley; and Philippe Chambadal, president at SmartStream.
Setting the scene for discussion, an audience poll showed 32% of respondents in the early stages of considering the utility model and 68% already using or planning to use the SmartStream RDU or in-house built solutions. A second audience poll identified the main barriers to adopting the reference data utility model as practical implementation and the cost and human resource requirements of change.
The panel concurred with the audience’s views and went on to discuss why the banks decided to work with SmartStream to develop the RDU, how the utility operates, and the practical steps that must be taken to join the utility.
Considering data management, Chambadal described the mutualisation approach embedded in the RDU and noted the utility’s role as a processing agent of reference data licensed by each client. The panel members from the banks detailed the initial asset classes being managed by the utility, including listed derivatives and some equities, and the timeline for the addition of further datasets including additional equities and fixed income.
Discussing the benefits of using the RDU, the panel was in no doubt that the utility will deliver not only better data quality and lower error rates, but also reduced technology complexity and operating costs, improved regulatory compliance, and flexibility to support new products.
To find out more about:
- How the SmartStream RDU works
- Practical steps to join the utility
- The role of data vendors
- Data managed by the utility
- Deliverable benefits