Interactive data has rolled out the latest release of its APEX reference data service off the back of its significant investment in its new technology infrastructure called OMEGA. The new service brings together a wider range of reference data with faster intraday updates, and offering more delivery methods including the planned XML-based service, and on-demand managed data services. The ongoing developments are part of Interactive Data’s goal to expand its reach within financial institutions from its traditional stronghold in the back office, into more functions across the middle and front office.
These developments have been made possible as a result of its internal technology transformation since its private equity buyout by Silver Lake four years ago. Jay Nadler, Interactive Data’s chief operating officer, says, “The company was created by many acquisitions. We’ve had lots of products, some regional in nature (such as in Japan, Australia and Italy) and so it is complex. It is a big initiative to bring all the assets together with this new infrastructure, as well as to expand the breadth and depth of that data.
“APEX with our broader data sets and intraday capabilities, based on state of the art technology, has opened up the opportunity to move to middle and front office use cases in both buy and sell side firms. We can now extend the footprint in existing and new clients where we weren’t equipped to in the past. And we see this as an opportunity to help clients drive down the costs of reference data.”
The company has had a number of clients trialling the service with select asset classes over the past year and they are now launching formally with the full range of consolidated asset class reference data and a wider range of delivery options – from their end-of-day batch services, to on-demand, to managed data services.
Use Cases for Reference Data in Middle and Front Offices
Interactive Data cites examples of use in the middle office including risk management’s use of its reference data to address regulatory obligations and improve compliance, collateral and risk management practices, and to monitor counterpart trading risk. In the front office, Interactive Data is delivering its consolidated reference data in real time to support trading to improve global investment performance, trading and hedging strategies. It is also being used as trade support during the trade setup, confirmation and reporting phases. And within portfolio management it is being used for investment strategy development, evaluation and yield calculation.
Jay won’t disclose investment levels in the technology infrastructure, other than to say ‘It’s a large sum of money”. But, he says, Silver Lake invested with the belief that “we could grow the company and provide a higher level of service if we modernised the technology and centralised the content. The result of which is the new infrastructure and APEX services that has enabled us to be more nimble as a firm and deliver products rapidly to clients.”
The other big initiative for Interactive Data has been around its fixed income valuations services. We’ll be talking with Bill Gartland, Interactive Data’s head of continuous pricing, on that very soon.