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Talking Reference Data with Andrew Delaney: On the Enduring Appeal of the LEI

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It’s a sad day indeed when dinner party conversation turns to a 20-digit number. And yet, if asked what is the most compelling topic of coverage in our sphere of influence, I feel compelled to include within the top three at least: the LEI.

Of course, explaining what the LEI is all about – and how our industry is doing its bit to avoid the collapse of the global financial system – is marginally more exciting in the dinner party context. But even over a pint with London industry colleagues, the question of ‘What’s all the fuss about?’ comes up over and over, usually answered with a shrug of the shoulders and a cursory, ‘Fancy another one?’

And yet – through the great endeavours of my colleague Sarah Underwood – Reference Data Review continues to ‘own’ the topic of the GLEIS and entity data management a full two years since we first started to cover it in earnest. We have a packed panel at our forthcoming Data Management Summit in New York on May 13. And our LEI webinars – the latest one from a few weeks back is accessible here and our next one is scheduled for early June – continue to draw the crowds.

Part of the enduring appeal is certainly due to the ‘stick’ of regulation – most recently the introduction of EMIR and the decision by several regulators to require use of the LEI for their reporting requirements. But I also reckon the quality of our commentators – in particular, regulars like Pete Warms of Bloomberg and Tim Lind of Thomson Reuters – and their willingness to share their knowledge and experiences in this area, has been a major factor in their success.

Another of our regulars – Steve Goldstein of Alacra – has certainly helped bring some sparkle to what could otherwise be something of a dreary topic for dinner party conversation. His latest caper: a video that explains the importance of entity data that could be understood by an inquisitive teenager, to steal the catchphrase of a former editor of mine.

Take a look.

I think this is a clever and simple way of getting across some fairly complex concepts. It’s short and to the point, and I expect we’ll see a lot more of this kind of approach, particularly as a way of catching people’s attention and enticing them to delve a little more deeply to learn more.

I can’t help thinking that I’ll be keeping this on my iPhone, just to add a little spice to those dinner parties….

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