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Talking Reference Data with Andrew Delaney: The CDO Complex

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Quietly, amid our industry’s X-Factor-like preoccupation with the comings and goings at NYSE Technologies (Robson, Roche, Wombat, NYFIX – all going), there have been some equally significant human capital movements within the reference and enterprise data space.

Most notably, perhaps, is that Barclays has named a group chief data officer. And this is no ordinary CDO – if indeed there can be such a thing. This is Usama Fayyadd, regarded by many as the first executive ever to be titled CDO when he took on the role at Yahoo no less, back in 2004.

That Barclays has named such a high-profile executive – take a look at his LinkedIn profile – to such a senior position (in the wake of a number of senior data and technology defections at Barclays, Fayyad will take on responsibility pretty much for all data and technology at group level) is laudable, and seems to address the broad criticism that our industry is lagging the e-commerce retail space in terms of its approach to data.

But Fayyadd’s LinkedIn profile also suggests he has little (or indeed any) banking experience, and we wonder what he’ll make of our hand-wringing ways. Will Fayyadd represent the breath of fresh air that we may have convinced ourselves we need? Or will he throw his hands in the air at the labyrinth of restrictions on how we managed client data, entity data, transaction data, vendor data, exchange data and the whole proverbial ball of wax? It’ll be an interesting one to watch.

As will the impact of his appointment at Barclays. No fallout as yet – although Lorraine Waters, who was ‘temping’ in Chris Bannocks’ group data team, did jump ship to HSBC a few weeks back to take on the role of Deputy Chief Data Officer and Global Head of Data Policy, reporting to HSBC group CDO Peter Serenita.

Elsewhere, Michele Trogni – CIO at UBS until last April – has popped up at Markit EDM, where she’ll share leadership duties with incumbent CEO Dan Simpson as global head of managed services. Trogni was instrumental in the recently announced reference data outsourcing deal with iGate, which in turn has partnered with Markit EDM to create a global managed service for instrument reference data. Relatedly, Tom Dalglish’s protracted exit from UBS – where he was CTO for group data – is complete and he’s taken his office at iGate.

And last but by no means least, our friend Jennifer Ippoliti has joined Raymond James Financial as chief data officer, relocating from New York to the sunnier climes of Tampa Bay, Fla. As you’ll recall, she was previously head of the data management practice at Wipro, and was responsible for building the business there.

What’s clear is that data – and particularly enterprise and reference data – is being recognised as the premium asset (or liability) it is, and experts are being placed in senior, sometimes C-level positions to take responsibility for it. We discussed a lot of these ideas at the last Data Management Summit last month. And I’m pretty sure we’ll be discussing them again at our next DMS in March.

Planning starts now.

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