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SIIA/FISD to Findac: This industry ain’t big enough for the both of us.

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Despite much fanfare, the idea of another industry association focused on market and reference data in the form of Findac has petered out before it even started.

After testing the waters for a couple of months, Mike Atkin’s Financial Data Coalition (RDR, February 2005) concluded that it would not be able achieve critical mass, and has therefore ended its brief dalliance with competing head on with the SIIA’s Financial Information Services Division. This came despite the apparent support of key FISD stalwarts New York Stock Exchange and possibly even Reuters.

The outlined plans for Findac, specifically to ‘promote standards and efficiencies in market and reference data’, featured significant overlap with FISD’s own long-established practice. For members, this presented a tough choice: take a risk by endorsing the new industry body in town, stick with the original tried and tested organization, or try to justify two membership fees to essentially duplicate effort on the same issues.

It seems that most industry practitioners decided to stick with the tried and tested option. This is probably good news for the industry, as although competition can result in improved efficiency and better service, in the case of industry bodies aiming to promote standards it could have impeded progress.
Atkin has since parted ways with Strauss International, which was the intended backer for the venture, and has joined market research firm Outsell. FISD, meanwhile, is continuing to pick up the pace again in the reference data space with its recent MiFID activities and more to come.

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