About a-team Marketing Services
The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

Bear Stearns Taps Fidelity For Corporate Actions Data

Subscribe to our newsletter

Bear Stearns has signed a two-year agreement for access to Fidelity ActionsXchange’s corporate actions data and processing solution. The big U.S. investment bank will implement the Fidelity service in support of its global equities and fixed-income operations.

Boston-based Fidelity ActionsXchange, a subsidiary of Fidelity Capital, will provide Bear Stearns with access to its proprietary platform for processing corporate actions data. As part of the deal, Bear Stearns will receive both a web-based data service and a FTP feed of corpor-ate actions data that can be integrated with various processing applications in its equities and fixed-income departments. Fidelity ActionsXchange can deliver data in XML, ISO 15022 and other standard formats.

Data is sourced by Fidelity ActionsXchange itself, which staffs its Boston offices with almost two-dozen data analysts and corporate actions specialists, from exchanges, newswire services and company web-sites. These analysts also monitor, cleanse and validate data sourced from a range of third-party corporate actions data suppliers, whose services are delivered via the ActionsExchange offering. These include corporate actions specialists like the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. and Xcitek, data vendors like Exchange Data International, Telekurs Financial and Xinhua/Mergent.

The ActionsXchange service will allow Bear Stearns to prioritize the application of corporate actions according to the significance of the firm’s holdings in a particular security. As well as the usual equities-oriented corporate actions data, Fidelity will provide actions covering its bond holdings, including dividends, payments, defaults and terms and conditions.

According to David Birdsall, president of Fidelity ActionsXchange, the company’s service currently covers some three million instruments worldwide. Fidelity ActionsXchange was founded in 1997, spun out of Fidelity Management & Research, for whom the company’s ActionsSource platform was originally developed.

Initially positioned as a software provider, providing the ActionsSource platform as an on-site solution for processing of corporate actions data, the company has more recently established itself as a data and data-cleansing service, with some 30 broker/dealer, asset management, custodian and hedge fund clients. Birdsall says that while Fidelity ActionsXchange would still consider delivering an on-site solution for clients where appropriate, the strategic direction is toward more service-oriented offerings.

As such, to complement its ActionsXchange data and validation service, the company recently launched ActionsCompare, a hosted, ASP-based offering that adds clients’ own data sources to ActionsSource, while outsourcing data cleansing, validation and maintenance to Fidelity’s staff.

Clients can use ActionCompare to compare Fidelity-sourced data with the client’s own or custodian data. By comparing ActionsXchange’s data with that of the client, Fidelity is able to produce a composite corporate action summary record specific to each client.

This identifies any discrepancies between the two sources of information; clients can then use a web-based tool to query their summary records and complete or resolve data conflicts in a secure, client-specific environment.

The service requires clients provide Fidelity with their custodian or proprietary data files. ActionCompare is ISO 15022-compatibl, and features rules-based data transformation from proprietary file formats. The data is loaded into a client-specific database, where algorithms match data from the two sources, identifying conflicts, which are then reported in the client summary.

Birdsall says the new offering is currently in beta. “We have a couple of clients looking to move forward with it,” he says. These clients are attracted by the opportunity to leverage Fidelity’s technology while enjoying the service levels of the ActionsXchange service.

More broadly, Birdsall reports increasing interest in corporate actions across the enterprise, as institutions take a more enterprise-wide view of their approach to data management. He says one new area of interest is in the front office. Corporate actions traditionally have been the preserve of back- or middle-office operations departments. Increasingly, however, Birdsall says, firms are seeking ever-higher returns, making their attention to detail on corporate actions processing ever more important.
This quest for higher returns initially found its footing within the hedge fund marketplace. Birdsall points to Fidelity ActionsXchange’s win earlier this year at AQR Capital Management, a large U.S. quantitative manager, which implemented ActionsXchange to aid in its investment decision-making process. This thirst for higher returns is now expanding beyond the hedge fund environment into the broader financial services marketplace, Birdsall says.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related content

WEBINAR

Recorded Webinar: Data standards and global identifiers update

Data standards and global identifiers are the international language of capital markets – but how widely have they been adopted, how useful are they in practice, and can they stand the test of sustaining stable markets? This webinar will review data standards and global identifiers available in capital markets, discuss their adoption, and consider best...

BLOG

ANNA Plans Implementation of Revised ISO 6166 ISIN Standard in February 2023

The Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) will implement the revised ISO 6166 International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) standard on 2 February 2023. The revised standard was published in February 2021 and is designed to bring additional clarity and transparency to the identification and reporting of trades through the use of international standards. Highlights of...

EVENT

Data Management Summit New York

Now in its 12th year, the Data Management Summit (DMS) in New York brings together the North American, capital markets enterprise data management community, to explore the evolution of data strategy and how to leverage data to drive compliance and business insight.

GUIDE

Applications of Reference Data to the Middle Office

Increasing volumes and the complexity of reference data in the post-crisis environment have left the middle office struggling to meet the requirements of the current market order. Middle office functions must therefore be robust enough to be able to deal with the spectre of globalisation, an increase in the use of esoteric security types and...