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QED Unveils Single Back Office Data Source for Asset Managers

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In a bid to help its institutional investment clients reduce the cost and complexity of managing data sources, New Jersey headquartered QED Financial Systems has launched QED Data Connection, a solution designed to enable users of its investment accounting system to access a range of middle and back office data from multiple vendors via a single source. The vendor says a number of its clients are already planning to migrate over to the new solution, currently being offered to users of its Q2 Investment Workflow System and/or the Q2 Data Mart.

QED has also contracted to use CUSIP NOW (Reference Data Review, November 2006) from the CUSIP Service Bureau (operated by Standard & Poor’s on behalf of the American Bankers Association) to make available to its clients new CUSIP issues and reference data every 15 minutes. The CUSIP NOW data will be delivered via QED Data Connection, as part of the security master data, market prices, global industry classification standard (GICS) data, corporate actions announcements, indices and constituent data QED clients can access via the new solution.

QED Financial Systems has a significant footprint among US buy sides, including institutional asset managers, pension funds, investment advisers and state and municipal advisers. According to the vendor, it manages in excess of $1 trillion in collective assets, and nearly 50 per cent of US state treasuries use QED software to manage their investments.

The Q2 Investment Workflow System is an investment accounting and portfolio management system available in LAN and ASP deployments. The Q2 Data Mart is a data warehouse which accepts real-time position, transaction, referential and pricing data from clients’ Q2 databases and makes the data accessible by downstream applications and tools.

Explaining the thinking behind QED’s creation of Data Connection, its senior vice president of operations Michael Dowd says: “All of our clients have a need for market prices, security master data and other types of information, and many of them have to go out to RFP for specific services – which can be a difficult task when they need several different data sources. We saw the need for a single source via which to procure all reference data. We looked at our existing relationships with data providers, and reached out to some new ones, in order to create that single point of contact for our clients.”

The data vendors whose data will be accessible via Data Connection include Standard & Poor’s and Interactive Data (both listed as strategic partners on the QED website), but, says Dowd, its clients will not be limited to data from the existing line-up of vendors. “We will partner with additional providers according to client needs,” he says.

During the 20 years it has been in business, QED has developed all the necessary interfaces to the data vendors, he continues, and has now “bundled them into a single repository of data”. “From that repository, into which all the data flows, clients can request information either for an individual security or on a list/portfolio of securities, Dowd says.

By using the single source, QED clients should not only be able to save themselves the effort of managing multiple vendor relationships, but also save money on the data itself, he reckons. “What we have been able to do, because of our client base, is leverage all our clients’ relationships with data vendors and get them to lower their prices in a way an individual client would not be able to do. We are driving data prices down for our clients.”

The Data Connection offering has been available for just a few weeks, and QED “will be working with all our clients with hopes of moving them over to it”. “Most clients have existing contracts with us for market, reference and corporate actions data. Our aim is to bring all our clients on to the one platform, taking advantage of a sole source for reference data, so they don’t have to manage multiple vendor relationships themselves. It will take time, but a lot of our clients are already planning to move over,” he adds.

“Regarding the CUSIP NOW relationship,” Dowd continues, “we have a lot of new clients coming on board with reference data needs – point in time reference data needs and a requirement for up to the minute data on new issues. This relationship will give us up to the minute security master reference data.”

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