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EDM Council Marks Milestones in Membership and Data Management Maturity

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The Enterprise Data Management Council, a not-for-profit business forum created by the financial industry to address the issues and challenges associated with managing data content as a business and operational priority, today announced that it had reached a membership milestone of 50 member companies with the addition of nine new members in 2010. The rapid increase in membership follows a year in which data management and standardisation has been propelled onto the global stage and identified as a critical component to systemic risk management and financial regulatory reform.

The EDM Council is solely focused on the objective of ensuring trust and confidence in data that is used to drive all business processes and that is needed for regulatory oversight. It was formed in 2005 when a group of leading financial firms organised themselves to address the organisational, operational and standards related challenges of managing data as the ‘lifeblood of their institutions’ and the ‘glue that holds business strategy together.’ From a foundation of 12 members, the Council has now grown to 50, and boasts a mix of both financial services institutions and vendors who originate, consume and distribute data. The Council is pleased to welcome Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, Brown Brothers Harriman, DTCC, Fincore Financial, Headstrong Corporation, Freddie Mac, Ness Technologies, and Royal Bank of Scotland to the Council. In related news, the Council also announced the addition of four new companies to its Board of Directors. The new Board members include Northern Trust, State Street Corporation, Broadridge Financial and Standard & Poor’s Corporation.

The importance of data and effective data management has now been recognised by legislators and the industry alike, as is evident in global legislation proposed in the US and EMEA that now includes specific provisions around data management. Data has emerged as an infrastructure requirement of financial oversight, beginning with a National Academy of Sciences report which endorsed the call for the financial industry to adopt a common language for all securities and financial contracts. Shortly following, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island introduced a bill, the National Institute of Finance Act of 2010 that would provide legislators with the tools they need to manage the collection and standardisation of data on financial entities and instruments, promote data sharing among regulatory agencies, and provide early warnings of possible systemic collapse.

The proposed legislation was supported by six Nobel Laureates via a joint letter to the Senate stressing the importance of comparable and predictable data. As the Senate begins to finalise financial reform legislation, they have agreed to include in their bill a new Office of Financial Research that would collect data required for systemic risk, standardise the formats and meanings of the data, and perform applied research in support of the requirements for systemic oversight. The impact of this proposed legislation would be to ensure that the core data needed for regulatory oversight over our complex and globally interconnected industry was comparable across all financial institutions and available for precise analytics without the need for data reconciliation. It recognised the fundamental role of data content as a tool to assist regulators in monitoring the health and safety of the financial markets.

“The concept of data management focused on the precision of meaning is a huge step forward for the financial industry,” said Michael Atkin, managing director of the EDM Council. “As we approach the new “age of transparency” for the financial industry, data content is appropriately being recognised as one of the necessary conditions to ensure that objective. The Council will continue to advocate the importance of getting the data right as part of financial regulatory reform and push for data standards and a common language to enable systemic risk oversight and business success.”

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