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FIMA Delivers Reference Data Messages

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As promised, the Financial Information Management (FIMA) conference in London earlier this month offered a very useful forum for the reference data community to trade ideas and network. We spent both days there and found catching up with old friends, making new ones, and listening and learning about real-life implementa-tions a valuable use of our time.

The dual-track structure of the event occasionally forced us to sacrifice – or to tag-team – in order to get to the presentations we wanted to. But on the whole, we were more than pleased, sitting in, as we did, on sessions from AIG, Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, State Street Global Advisors and many others.

The message that came across from this group of top-tier firms was that reference data projects are real and happening, and budgets are being assigned to what is increasingly seen as strategic initiatives.

We were also very pleased to hear two commissioning partners using A-Team’s research to demonstrate points in their presentations. First up was Kevin Bradshaw, global head of enterprise information products at Reuters. Bradshaw used FIMA to explain Reuters’ offerings and business perspective on fixed-income evaluations. As Reference Data Review readers will know, Reuters recently commissioned A-Team to survey the marketplace on its acceptance of evaluations data as a means of pricing fixed-income securities, particularly in Europe. The resulting report – Fixed Income Pricing: Are Evaluations Gaining Value? – makes fascinating reading and, if you haven’t read it, is available at http://about.reuters.com/ datascope.

Meanwhile, another commissioning partner, SunGard, referenced our report on outsourcing of reference data services. John Wallis, vice president, sales, at SunGard Enterprise Data Management, gave a thorough assessment of the market’s growing appetite for outsourced data management, a phenomenon evidenced by the growing uptake of service offerings in this space in recent months. Again, our report – Reference Data Management: Who Should Handle It? – commissioned by SunGard, is essential reading for anyone involved in this area, and is available from http://www.data.sungard.com/ outsourcing/survey.htm.

The SunGard reference data business has been cited an early adopter of SunGard’s new Common Services Architecture for internal integration of its many applications.

The other major message we received at FIMA – needless to say – was the market’s growing awareness of MiFID, the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, now looking to be implemented by November 2007.

Such is the level of interest and activity around MiFID that A-Team has decided the topic deserves its own publication. We plan on launching MiFID Monitor early in the New Year, with a remit to highlight the news, issues, concerns and challenges surrounding securities and entity identification, as well as transparency, best execution, client order-handling, and other aspects of MiFID as they apply to the capital markets. For more information on MiFID Monitor, please contact us via the web-site or at mifidmonitor@a-teamgroup .com. We look forward to having you along for the ride.

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