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Big Fish Jumps from Surprisingly Large Pond

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The first few months in the life of a new publication are, understandably, fraught times for the perpetrators. Like cinema or theatre, there is a balance of business and creative activity to be achieved, and you can be successful in neither, either or both.

We feel optimistic about which of those Reference Data Review is going to be, given the overwhelming response we’ve had from the first issue. And in the month since we produced the first issue it certainly became clear that reference data is a corner of the financial technology industry that is becoming a prime focus for many.

Perverse, then, that the biggest news event of the month should be the decision by the sector’s biggest fish that it wants out of the pond, as Reuters’ termination of its STP programme seems to indicate. To be fair to Reuters, the STP consultancy was not solely, or even primarily, concerned with reference data. But the fact that it was led by Anthony Kirby, whose profile was raised by his role in creating the Reference Data Users Group, meant it was closely associated with industry initiatives in this area. Reuters’ importance in the drive towards standards shouldn’t be shrugged off.

Though mapping between its RIC codes and other proprietary and in-house systems has been going on for many years, there are those who still hope that it will aid the standards process at least by adopting new initiatives. Ironically, though, as we report in this month’s lead story, severing the link between Reuters and RDUG may give the initiative a fillip as other vendors feel freer to participate.

With all of this activity in the sector, perhaps it should have come as less of a surprise that RDR’s first issue generated more interest than we predicted – or could have hoped for. If nothing else, it is more anecdotal evidence of the importance of reference data.

For those of you whose first encounter with Reference Data Review this is, here’s what we are about: We’ll be tracking the activity of the data vendors, looking at their strategy, management, partnerships, products and technology of those providing the key data types – including descriptive data, securities identifiers, pricing data and corporate actions data. As well as the vendors, we’ll examine the primary information sources, such as exchanges and central banks.

We’ll be following the key areas of software provision for securities administration: enterprise-wide data management systems providers; data cleansers and exceptions processing systems; and software packages and their providers, from risk management and portfolio management, to trade processing and custodial services.

From the user perspective, Reference Data Review will be monitoring and reporting on implementations by investment houses, broker/dealers, custodians, and exchanges of data feeds, data management software and interfaces into software systems.

This coverage will take us through many operational areas including trade processing, corporate actions processing, portfolio management, risk management, securities lending, fund administration, compliance and regulatory reporting, custody, and clearing and settlement. Central to the coverage throughout, though, will be the data itself. R

eference Data Review is published by A-Team Consulting, the market intelligence and research specialists for the financial information and technology markets. It is brought to you by the same team behind the liveliest, fastest-growing A-Team Insight industry briefing. We hope you enjoy your free trial issues of Reference Data Review.

– The A-Team

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