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Fame Targets Reference Data Management Space with referencePoint Re-Positioning

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In a move intended to place it firmly in the reference data management area, Fame Information Services has introduced a new suite of products and services under the ‘referencePoint’ umbrella.

Fame, typically associated with time-series data management services, has made significant investment in its product line and reorganized the company in order to position itself in the growing reference data management business. The space is already occupied by firms such as Financial Technologies International (FTI), Asset Control, Cicada and Eagle Investment Systems.

Fame’s new referencePoint suite of products is designed to handle all aspects of reference data management – including loading, processing, staging, cleaning, organizing, aligning, analysing, managing – for deployment of data throughout the enterprise. referencePoint combines reference and historical market data, standard data management technology, and financial and energy market expertise to provide complete enterprise information integration to the global financial, energy, and public sector markets.

“The market data business is shrinking at between 6% and 10%, but the data management business is growing,” says Dale Richards, chief executive of Fame. “We are well positioned to operate in this business as we have the technology, products and analytics, as well as an established client base.”

Richards says that the landscape of data provision is changing, with an increasing number of institutions, vendors, and software providers all looking at selling data and derived data services, which means that there is a growing need for centralised data management.

“Many firms are realising that there is no competitive advantage in doing it themselves, and that outsourcing to an experienced partner can literally save millions in data and technology fees,” he says.

Clients that are already using referencePoint components include fund management company Pioneer Investments and Credit Agricole Indosuez. Fame also provides services to Reuters for its DataScope service. Here, it processes 3,100 files daily and maintains the master historical DataScope database for Reuters. It also provides support for the 66,000 Reuters Plus terminals and for Instinet.

ReferencePoint has three core components: consolidation, management, and delivery. The consolidation aspect – through the sitePoint and transferPoint components – integrates data from various sources including FT Interactive Data, Thomson Financial, Telekurs, Reuters, Bloomberg, MSCI, and brokers. The management component, managePoint (the former Fame Data Manager), handles modelling validation, entitlement, and has reference data and time series containers.

Ian Gordon, managing director of Europe and Asia, says, “managePoint was developed primarily through the UK, where our value-add has been our technology.” Unlike the US, where Fame’s strengths have been focused more on its historical data services, the UK data market was already dominated by the likes of Datastream.

The delivery component is named accessPoint (based on the former Fame Enterprise Data Services) and handles the distribution, analytics, interfaces and programmatic access. The data can be fed into several departments across the enterprise, such as risk applications, research, trading decision support and into the back office.

Across these areas, Fame operates a number of alliances with firms including analytics and software prov-iders, such as Algorithmics, Agent-ware, BitaPlus, Xaware, and S-Plus.
ReferencePoint can provide the components to reside on the client site, or via referencePoint Plus as an outsourced solution on an ASP basis.

ReferencePoint Plus delivers financial and energy market data, coupled with Fame’s data integrity and validation services, on an outsourced basis without specifically requiring Fame software applications or Fame database technology.

Domenic Iannaccone, managing director of ReferencePoint Plus (formerly SVP of product development and operations), says, “Fame has been approached by numerous companies and software vendors with one request: to deliver Fame’s market data and monitoring services to all users of financial and energy market data.

“Clients can continue to select Fame’s software products, Fame SiteServer, Fame EnergyServer and PAWS. Or, they can leverage their other existing software investments alongside Fame’s financial and energy market data delivery and monitoring.”

Using referencePoint Plus users receive a menu of choices from an aggregate data feed for pre- and post-delivery data validation and the option to have Fame host and manage related systems and/or processes at one of its redundant data centres. The model includes business rules that are specific to each customer, the ability for customers to determine which feed to use as the primary source and what actions to take when data is outside their determined band of acceptance.

ReferencePoint Plus is also designed for software product developers that prefer to market an integrated solution, combining their applications with an approved data delivery service.

“By leveraging Fame’s experience and staff, software vendors can focus on the development of their applications and eliminate their need to start a costly and time prohibitive 24×7 data operation. ReferencePoint Plus helps software developers improve time-to-productivity for their customers while gaining substantial advantages over their competition,” says Iannaccone.

Fame currently generates $50m in revenues, with 70% sourced from financial services, 20% from energy, and the remaining 10% from public services. Fame now expects the reference data management business to be the single most significant contributor to its future growth.

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