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Mizuho’s Tweddle Stresses Importance of Data Ownership for Improvement in Quality

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Simon Tweddle, director of risk management at Mizuho International, is a firm believer in assigning data ownership in order to effectively monitor data quality across a financial institution. Speaking at last week’s Thomson Reuters event in London, Tweddle explained that Mizuho has recently put the management of its global reference and market data back on the agenda in order to ensure its regional and local operations are all working from the same set of data.

He indicated that the crisis of 18 months ago has raised the profile of the need to revisit legal entity, counterparty and issuer data management. Seconding a notion raised by fellow panellist Deutsche Bank’s head of reference data services, Neil Fletcher, Tweddle indicated that the pressures related to an increase in ad hoc regulatory reporting has added to the business case for a more global approach to data management.

“At Mizuho we are making sure that these data sets are owned and monitored by a group that understands the data and are therefore engaging the end users in our data quality process. Our reference data team sometimes challenges our risk management team to improve data mapping for example,” he elaborated.

The move towards a T+0 environment is a real challenge, however, and the driver for this cannot be assigned to individual business units, he noted. “It is a corporate cost. Let’s stop arguing about which business line pays for it, as the regulatory drivers to invest in data management will only increase over the next three years,” Tweddle contended.

He is an advocate of a publish, validate and subscribe model for data management in order to ensure data quality. The extra validation step by a business user allows for a firm’s data quality overall to improve, he said. The position of a chief data officer (CDO) is therefore not the most appropriate way to tackle the data challenge, according to Tweddle. A community of data focused individuals working together, rather than a single individual responsible for the data, is a more sensible option, he said.

The focus of data management projects should initially be on getting the basics right, rather than tackling complex products, he continued. Determining counterparty exposure is one such initial area of focus, said Tweddle.

The industry should also be more proactive in its approach to tackling data standardisation, concluded Tweddle: “We should not leave it up to the regulators to determine how we standardise our data, we need to pre-empt them by providing our own rules before a consultation paper on the subject is produced.”

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