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Interactive Data Aims to Provide a More Holistic View of Ref Data via its Business Entity Service Update, Says Cumberbatch

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Interactive Data’s new web-based portal for its Business Entity Service took several months of development and the aim was to provide users with access to a more holistic and centralised view of the reference data related to a particular issuing entity, asset class, region or industry, explains Bob Cumberbatch, European business lines director for the Reference Data business line at the vendor. One particular early adopter has been using the service for a number of months and has been able to benefit from the new ad hoc look-up service for instrument data from the vendor’s FTS securities administration tool, he tells Reference Data Review.

“The new web-based portal for the Business Entity Service, delivered via our FTS securities administration tool, is an extension to our existing global service,” explains Cumberbatch. “The portal took several months to develop. The challenge was to develop a flexible, innovative Java application to present fully navigable issuer hierarchies while maintaining cross-browser compatibility. I believe that our innovative development team has achieved this.”

The new portal has been designed with a view to providing a more complete picture of the corporate hierarchy of an entity and its underlying securities issuance in order to better understand its capital structure and enable end users to track risk exposures across pre- and post-trade business functions. Given the focus on this space in the post-Lehman world, the vendor’s upgrade also aims to provide users with a tool to help identify the potential risks that could be triggered by ‘stress’ events affecting related entities from within the family tree of the subject entity.

“The new portal represents an example of how we aim to evolve our FTS service – you could say the new ‘look and feel’,” says Cumberbatch.

The Business Entity Service itself is aimed at helping clients to meet their requirements for managing credit, market and operational risk, financial instruments’ collateral, as well as compliance under a variety of global risk management and liquidity risk regulations (see our interview with Cumberbatch on the subject of entity data and its impact on risk management earlier this year). The portal enables navigation of issuer hierarchies by instrument identifier, such as Sedol, ISIN and Cusip, entity full legal name, entity identifier, and interactive representations of issuing hierarchies and their underlying issuance.

Cumberbatch indicates that client demand inspired the move: “A number of clients asked if we could extend the scope of our instrument to issuer mapping to include all the instruments in our service in order to help provide a centralised, holistic view of reference data. The aim was to help ensure consistency of data and help support the in-house distribution frequencies required to manage pre- and post-trade risk.”

Having established comprehensive coverage of instruments via FTS in the download service, the vendor could then provide an ad hoc look-up service, in order to enhance the value of the service to its clients. As a result, end users are able to research the possible impact of taking a position and perform instrument set up ahead of a trade.

The vendor also ensured it was going down the right track in terms of development by involving a number of parties in the process. “To make sure that we’re helping to meet market requirements, we have been working with development partners across a number of business functions on this project since 2010,” explains Cumberbatch.

He notes that the feedback from the market has been positive thus far and one early adopter has been using the portal for its “mission critical business functions” for a number of months.

As for how the portal fits into the bigger picture for the vendor, Cumberbatch says: “We aim to evolve our services to help meet the developing market challenges and needs. This is an example of us working with a number of third party specialist counterparty data providers and clients in order to offer a Business Entity Service that combines its own broad range of instrument level reference data with specialist sourced entity level data.”

However, in terms of future developments, for now, the vendor is not giving anything away about its plans. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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