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Exclusive: Fed CDO and DMRAV Headliner Bottega Takes on OFR Advisory Role

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The US Office of Financial Research (OFR) has bagged another advisor in addition to recent Treasury appointee and ex-Morgan Stanley economist Richard Berner in the form of chief data officer (CDO) for the Markets Group at the New York Federal Reserve John Bottega. Bottega, who joined the Fed as CDO back in 2009 and is headlining at next week’s A-Team Group Data Management for Risk, Analytics and Valuations (DMRAV) conference in New York, has been seconded by the US Treasury as the senior advisor to the director of the OFR.

Bottega explains to Reference Data Review that his role at the OFR is to take responsibility for assisting the new Treasury agency in setting up its data management function, which it refers to as its “data centre”. He elaborates: “In this role, I will be spending part of my time in Washington and the rest of my time in NY, continuing my full responsibilities at the NY Fed. This is an exciting opportunity for me and a way to assist this important effort.”

He will be sharing his insights into his new role and discussing the data management challenges of the Dodd Frank Act with fellow panellists: Shaun Brady, principal at government advisory body Mitre (who has also been involved in work around the OFR); Citisoft director Ben Keeler; and Thomson Reuters’ recent data focused recruit to the Enterprise team Tim Lind.

Of course, Bottega is no stranger to the standardisation challenges faced by the data management teams of large financial institutions: he spent three years as Citi’s Institutional Client Group’s CDO. In fact, his appointment as CDO for the firm represented the first time a financial institution had created a c-level data executive position: a significant achievement indeed.

Bottega has also been a stalwart campaigner for the reference data function over the last 25 years and has been heavily involved in the work of data industry association the EDM Council.

In terms of his hands on data management experience, at Citi Bottega was responsible for planning and managing the division’s data strategy, policies, line functions and data investments and working closely with Citi’s Global Infrastructure Conversion and Alignment Program (GICAP) team, Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) Technology and the CIB Data Council.

Prior to this, he worked for financial institutions including Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. At Credit Suisse First Boston, he headed up a global team within the Strategic Core Services Division, which was responsible for the acquisition, storage, management and dissemination of product and price reference data.

Before Credit Suisse, Bottega worked at Merrill Lynch, where he served as product manager for the firm’s Product Master Environment, responsible for the development of specifications, design and strategic planning for the firm’s reference data service solutions.

The Treasury is no doubt hoping that Berner’s expertise in economic theory will marry well with Bottega’s practical experience in the data management field in order to provide a solid foundation on which to build the new agency’s capabilities. After all, as noted by Mitre’s Brady back in February, a lot is riding on the appointment of the right team to lead the agency. “If the right approach is not taken, it could kill the chances of the OFR,” he told Reference Data Review.

Given that the industry has just published its preliminary feedback and recommendations for the fundamentals of a legal entity identification standard, Bottega and Berner have a lot to be getting on with at the outset.

In the spirit of fostering wider industry dialogue on the subject, and if you can’t make it down to DMRAV on 17 May and want to make sure certain questions are posed to the panel, write in with your suggestions. Also, don’t forget to follow the event on twitter with hashtag: #DMRAV

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