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ICMA Ltd Plans Data Products, Extension Of TRAX2 to More Instruments

Data products will be at the heart of a new raft of offerings being developed by ICMA Ltd, the market services division of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA).

In an effort to more effectively utilise the data assets it has acquired through its provision of the TRAX trade matching and transaction reporting system for over-the-counter instruments, ICMA Ltd has kicked off a programme to determine how it could better meet its clients’ market data needs, according to its newly appointed director of product management Graeme Austin.

“ICMA Ltd is at the heart of fixed income data in the capital markets,” Austin told Reference Data Review. “For many years we have been collecting end-of-day pricing and real-time quotes for fixed income instruments and supplying them to other vendors. My role is to talk to our subscribers and find out how we might be able to manage this data better, add value to it, so as to create new services to meet their needs.”

ICMA Ltd is also focusing on how to provide further tools to help its clients in their risk mitigation efforts, he adds. “Another aspect of my role is to examine how we might extend TRAX2 to other sectors that are exposed to increased risk. We have already extended our matching capabilities to cover repos and to include the hedge fund community within this service.” The practice of affirming and confirming OTC deals as early as possible in the trade lifecycle is a well-accepted method of reducing the risk of such transactions.

Austin is building a new product management team at ICMA Ltd, and will be working to formulate its future product strategy for the remainder of this year and early next, with a view to presenting a roadmap for development by the end of Q1 2008.

TRAX2 has also received approval from the UK Financial Services Authority as an Approved Reporting Mechanism (ARM) under MiFID, following completion of testing with both the FSA and its subscribers, according to ICMA Ltd. “Unlike many other systems TRAX2 has a proven capability of reporting to multiple regulators in Europe already,” Austin says. “In light of MiFID we have been in continuous dialogue with other competent authorities and are now fast tracking TRAX2 through other jurisdictions.”

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