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Reuters Says Detail Will Differentiate Counterparty Service

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The counterparty data service under development at Reuters will be differentiated from others in the market by its scope, the level of detail of its information and its ease of integration, according to the vendor. As exclusively reported in Reference Data Review last month, Reuters is currently building the service in conjunction with a third party specialist and is aiming for an end of Q1 2007 launch.

Tim Shortland, global head of new business, Enterprise Information at Reuters, positions the service as an extension of the vendors’ current activities, to be delivered via Reuters’ existing DataScope Select request and retrieve browser-based capability. It will also leverage Reuters’ existing data assets, he says. “We have got much of the data already: we are actively maintaining entity level data for other areas of the business, the pricing and reference data and the desktop services that carry it.”

Reuters is already in discussions with clients about coming on board. Reuters is also calling for more interested clients to work with it to prepare for the introduction of the counterparty service, with a view to pre-trialling data prior to going live.

Jonathan Hodgson is the product business owner, client, counterparty and compliance data, within Reuters Enterprise Information. He was brought into Reuters from Adsatis, and was also European business development director for Adsatis’ joint venture counterparty data specialist Credit Dimensions.

Hodgson says the counterparty service under development “will be a comprehensive source of accurate, audited and fully maintained entity data”. It will assist institutions with regulatory compliance, credit risk management reporting and monitoring and counterparty classification. Its launch population will cover some 85,000 global issues of debt and equity, 15,000 fund managers and 150,000 funds. “In addition we will provide a request and retrieve service, to be used when customers require additional entities to be added – say for new client onboarding.”

The aim is to create a “one-stop-shop” for counterparty data management, he says. “We will provide a comprehensive set of key data attributes for each entity. It is already possible within DataScope to link instrument to entity. With the new service, we will be able to offer drill down into the detail of the entity, and up into the hierarchy, with each block containing all the detailed information.” The counterparty data will be fully linked through to the RIC, which Reuters believes will ease the integration burden for clients. “On the basis that there is no standard identifier for entity level information, our service will expose a Reuters global standard counterparty identifier, that will also be a hook for linking into other data within Reuters.”

Though integration of the service may be eased by the use of RICs, it accepts that bigger firms may need assistance with integration in order to be able to take the entity data via a single source, and it is inviting customers to begin working with it now to prepare. The specialist partner has a key role to play here. As well as working with Reuters to enhance the launch data population for the service, the partner will provide through its existing activities pre-sales support assistance to Reuters around data de-duplication, mapping and cleansing.

Through a second partnership with an as yet unnamed third party specialist, Reuters plans to offer an integrated sanction and official list management service, which it says will further help clients meet compliance and audit requirements. Every entity in the service will be matched daily against a consolidated list of 250 lists, and there will be an ability to drill down into the results; if there is a match, the client will be able to see the lists the entity appeared on.

Reuters emphasises the integrity of the source data it is using to compile the service. The data files for each entity will include the original source type, the source used and a URL if applicable. Says Hodgson: “The source type will be the registrar or, if there is an exceptionally good reason for it, another source that has been audited. In some countries, for example Pakistan, you have to be a Pakistani citizen to sell the registrar’s data. If the data has come from an audited annual report, we will make that fact as transparent as possible.” Each entity will be re-papered at a minimum once a year, and shortly after launch Reuters will offer an integrated document repository for access to the underlying copies of the source documents.
The existing Reuters global content teams, and their ongoing relationships with sources, will be harnessed for the counterparty service, and indeed the vendor is banking on its scale as a further differentiator in the entity space. “Scale is a challenge,” says Hodgson. “It’s a labour intensive job to get the content, get it right, and maintain it, when you are providing a global service. You can’t outsource it all to India, because you need local language skills. It is also difficult for major banks to work with small companies in the counterparty area. It is more straightforward for a big tier one bank to sign up with us than with a small company.”

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