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Welcome to our inaugural issue of Reference Data Review

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We’re pleased to announce the launch of Reference Data Review, the first subscription publication to focus specifically on the fast-growing reference data industry.

While many industry observers are examining the efforts driving the finan-cial services industry towards Straight Through Processing (STP), the crucial data element is often overlooked. But, as the industry is becoming increasingly aware, true STP – and both the cost savings and risk management benefits associated with it – cannot be achieved without implementing a solid strategy regarding quality reference data.

The reference data business is by no means small – revenues for data providers totalled $545 million in 2001, according to A-Team Consulting’s research report Securities Administration Data: the Essential Piece of the STP Puzzle. The Tower Group predicts total global spending on STP between 2001 and 2004 will be $19.1 billion – and Reuters, its parent, estimates that a whopping $7.1 billion of that will be on sorting out the reference data issues.

People across the spectrum are now recognising the importance of this aspect of the industry and Reference Data Review newsletter will be following it closely across the European and North American markets. Among the areas we’ll be tracking is the activity of the data vendors, looking at the strategy, management, partnerships, products and technology of those providing the key data types – including descriptive data, securities identifiers, pricing data and corporate actions data.

As well as the vendors, we’ll examine the primary information sources, such as exchanges and central banks. We’ll be following the key areas of software provision for securities administration: enterprise-wide data management systems providers; data cleansers and exceptions processing systems; and software packages and their providers, from risk management and portfolio management, to trade processing and custodial services.

With the formation of the Reference Data User Group (RDUG) in Europe and the Reference Data Coalition (Redac) in the US, industry initiatives are taking centre stage. We’ll be following those initiatives aimed at easing the process of managing reference data by such organizations as the FISD and its Market Data Definition Language, the ANNA organization, the Bond Market Association and others.

We’ll also be looking at any external initiatives that impact the business, such as the upcoming Basel II Accord, the US Patriot Act and other developments as they arise. From the user perspective, Reference Data Review will be monitoring and reporting on implementations by investment houses, broker/dealers, custodians, and exchanges, of data feeds, data management software and interfaces into software systems.

This coverage will take us through many operational areas including trade processing, corporate actions processing, portfolio management, risk management, securities lending, fund administration, compliance and regulatory reporting, custody, and clearing and settlement. Central to the coverage throughout, though, will be the data itself.

Reference Data Review is published by A-Team Consulting, the market intelligence and research specialists for the financial information and technology markets.. It is brought to you by the same team behind the liveliest, fastest growing A-Team Insight industry briefing. We hope you enjoy the first of your three free issues of Reference Data Review.

– The A-Team

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