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Broadridge Financial Solutions Steps up to the Plate for Reference Data

It has undoubtedly been a busy start to the year for Broadridge Financial Solutions, with the signing of a number of partnership agreements in March and the launch of whole host of new solutions over recent months. One such endeavour is its venture into the corporate actions space, in concert with its wider push into the reference data management market. Richard Stumm, vice president of business development for the vendor, explains to Reference Data Review that the launch of the new Global Corporate Actions Solution (GCAS) and the upgrade of its Global Reference Data Solution (GRDS) have both been prompted by its strategic partnerships.

“Both offerings are the result of strategic partnerships with firms that we believe are leaders in their respective markets,” says Stumm. “Information Mosaic and GoldenSource have invested significant time and money in the evolution of their products which have been driven by end user requirements. These feature and functionality rich managed service applications are a unique and cost effective offering to the marketplace.”

The upgrade of the GRDS solution has therefore resulted from the vendor’s partnership with enterprise data management (EDM) vendor GoldenSource, which was established in 2007 when the solution was first launched. At its launch in April 2007, GRDS was powered by GoldenSource and IBM was selected as the preferred systems integrator. The theory behind its launch was to create a single source of truth for reference data by leveraging the scalability, flexibility and depth of the GoldenSource platform, according to Broadridge.

GRDS is a managed service that provides the software, hardware and resources needed to support the acquisition, cleansing, storage and delivery of ‘golden copy’ reference data. It includes a client defined rules engine that is able to process both simple and complex securities data, says Stumm.

This month, the vendor has upgraded GRDS to include greater data governance capabilities that allow firms to align their data management rules to their business processes. The aim is to help firms to reduce operational risk and downstream processing errors, while minimising their overall data management expenditure. This new positioning is reflective of the concerns in the market about risk management and cost savings, against a background of increased regulatory scrutiny and downward financial pressures.

“One of the key improvements is the ability to create multiple golden copies for pricing information within a firm. This is driven off of automated business rules that include the ability to take market indexes into consideration when evaluating price tolerances,” explains Stumm.

The functional enhancements include new pricing capabilities for validating vendor data and functions for handling exceptions and greater flexibility in the definition and management of data integrity. The latter has been introduced to allow different consumers to specify their critical data attributes in a non-linear fashion, says the vendor.

“We have been in the data management business for 10 years. The upgrade was done to reflect the functionality delivered by our strategic partner, GoldenSource,” says Stumm. “Pairing the GRDS offering with our business process outsourcing (BPO) Managed Data Services provides a total solution for achieving high quality reference data in a pay as you go model.”

The vendor is positioning the solution as a tool for mitigating risks where reference data is critical in the evaluation of potential exposure, as well as a way of reducing cost. According to Broadridge, the solution reduce operational risk and downstream processing errors by improving the quality of a firm’s reference data and allows firms to rapidly enter new markets by reducing implementation risk and time to market.

In March this year, Broadridge also signed a multi-year agreement with Information Mosaic to install its corporate actions solution, cama, in Broadridge’s back office service bureau platform. The GCAS solution is the fruit of this labour: a fully managed service that automates the entire corporate actions processing lifecycle. The solution covers functions including announcement data capture and cleansing, notification processing and entitlement calculations.

Stumm explains why the vendor chose to focus on this area: “As a result of the Broadridge strategic planning process, corporate actions was identified as an area that represents risk to firms and recognised as a function that could be outsourced.”

The vendor indicates that the combination of its own outsourcing capabilities with Information Mosaic’s cama solution is what makes the value proposition different from its competition. “We decided to provide a unique managed service in the corporate action space since it has been an area of risk for firms in the global marketplace,” says Stumm. “We see globalisation as a continuing trend in the industry.”

The solution is aimed at allowing clients to reduce costs associated with IT overhead, better manage risk, enhance efficiency and accuracy by eliminating manual processing and improve the quality of data used to process corporate action events. By shifting implementation and ongoing maintenance costs to Broadridge’s service, clients are able to focus on their core, revenue generating activities, says Stumm.

Broadridge is confident that the current market conditions will contribute to raising the cause of reference data with senior management. “There is interest being shown in the industry. The market conditions lend themselves to cost effective solutions that can address areas of risk for firms,” concludes Stumm.

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