Following the announcement of its partnership with EDM vendor Asset Control in February, business entity data specialist Avox has signed another partnership agreement, this time with Markit’s documentation management platform. Under the new agreement, Markit Document Exchange and Avox will work together to provide their mutual clients with a combined business entity data and documentation solution.
Penny Davenport, managing director and head of Markit Document Exchange, spoke to Reference Data Review earlier this year (see February issue) about the work the vendor had been engaged in with Citi and Avox in the business entity space. This official partnership announcement is the formalisation of that work, which was aimed at normalising and validating Citi’s customer data and documentation.
Markit launched the documentation management platform in May last year with great fanfare. The service acts as a centralised repository for documentation and automates KYC, anti-money laundering (AML) and compliance certification processes with a view to reducing risk and lowering operational costs. Markit involved a number of buy side and sell side institutions in the design of the service to ensure it met the industry’s requirements and launched with the support of Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, RBS, Eton Park Capital Management and Pimco.
Ken Price, CEO and co-founder of Avox, has high hopes for this new partnership with the counterparty and compliance documentation library provider. “This partnership will drive material value and absolutely minimise risk associated with invalid business entity information required for functions such as KYC, Basel II and AML. By leveraging a centralised service managed by Avox and Markit for this labour intensive function, our mutual clients save time, money and effort,” claims Price.
Davenport believes that the partnership will benefit its clients due to the increased accuracy of business entity information provided by Avox. “By partnering with Avox, we saw a unique opportunity to provide our users with further assurance that business entity information and associated documents within the platform are fully up to date,” she explains.
Currently, Markit Document Exchange users have access to a centralised pool of public and private documentation permissioned to them by the contributing entity. These documents often serve as the authoritative source for key business information such as ownership structures, regulatory status and financial information, which must be stored by various stakeholders in a transaction, explains Davenport. Under the new agreement, Avox will be entitled to access documentation related to mutual clients with a view to enriching and enhancing the corresponding business entity records.
In this partnership, as in others, Avox will employ a collaborative model whereby all clients proactively contribute intelligence about changes they see impacting business entity data, adds Price. These changes are sent to Avox daily and are re-verified by their team of data experts. By comparing this information to that contained within the documents, held within Markit Document Exchange, out of date documentation can be quickly identified and refreshed, he concludes.
The increased focus on counterparty risk in the market bodes well for the future of this combined solution. Davenport indicates that Markit’s clients have been heavily focused on risk and cost reduction and by offering a combined solution, this should bring down costs yet further still.