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Four Weeks and Counting…

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Four weeks and counting until the juggernaut that is Sibos rolls into Amsterdam and already I’m struggling to fit all the meetings into the week and make sure I can attend the sessions relevant to my particular data focused corner of the market. As I noted back in May when the conference programme was first released, reference data is getting its time to shine and issues such as corporate actions risk, data standardisation and the spectre of a reference data utility are all on the agenda.

Top of my agenda at the moment is obviously making sure my panel on the afternoon of the first day is suitably pitched at the average Sibos delegate. Granted, those in the data management world are more au fait with the concept of a utility in the reference data space but, as proven by some of the questions I was asked by Sibos last year, many are stumped by what the term “reference data” actually covers, let alone how a utility could provide the stuff.

So, even though we only have an hour in which to debate the rather complex issue of getting a reference data utility off the ground, we’re going to have to start with the basics first. Luckily, I have a number of very well informed panellists with whom to debate the practicalities of a utility, once we’ve got the explanations out of the way.

Meredith Gibson, director and legal counsel at Citi, for one, has reservations about the way in which the regulatory community should approach the issue of standardisation and a utility in this space. I look forward to hearing her debate with key utility proponent Francis Gross, head of external statistics of the European Central Bank (ECB), the practicalities and potential pitfalls of establishing a utility in the US (as prescribed by the Dodd-Frank Act) and in Europe (should a similar mandate be established here).

The questions I shall be posing include: how can market participants hope to influence the process of developing the Office of Financial Research, if at all? If it is to be limited to covering systemically important financial institutions, how will this impact the entity and instrument databases therein? What are the dangers of such an approach? What kind of practical and legal considerations should be taken into account? Is mandating change the only approach that is likely to be successful? What other options are out there in the market? What impact will the US utility have on the rest of the world, given that the US could potentially end up setting the global reference data standardisation agenda?

You can check out the full speaker list and the timings and location of the panel on the Sibos website here.

Don’t worry if you can’t attend the event itself, I’ll be sure to provide a post-match analysis for those back in the office.

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