The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

Refinitiv’s John Mason Talks to DMI About Transitioning to the Cloud

Refinitiv, formerly Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk business, is off the runway and heading for the cloud with a view to transitioning its data and clients to the cloud, bringing processes to data rather than data to processes, and helping clients gain value from data and tackle the thorny issue of total cost of ownership (TCO). Regulation, inevitably, is also on the agenda.

To find out more about Refinitiv’s plans in the data and data management space, we caught up with John Mason, global head of enterprise middle and back office at Refinitiv, and previously head of regulatory and market structure strategic response and propositions, a role in which he headed up Thomson Reuters’ response to MiFID II and other regulatory initiatives.

In his new role at Refinitiv, Mason is responsible for pricing and reference data services and is looking at how clients consume data, how it can be made more accessible, and how it can be made more useful and valuable. Cloud technology is one solution.

A Thomson Reuters survey of 250 senior decision makers at firms across the buy-side and sell-side published last summer demonstrated increasing market confidence in using the public cloud, particularly among data scientists needing instant access to data, small firms looking to avoid the costs of internal systems, and large firms keen to use the cloud for historic data and middle and back-office use cases.

While Thomson Reuters offered cloud services, Refinitiv’s mission is to transition its data and, longer term, services that wrap around the data, into a cloud-based environment and at a pace that suits its clients.

Mason says an initial aim is to turn the traditional method of bringing data to processes, particularly reference data, on its head. He explains: “Over the next few years, we will transition to bring processes to data in the cloud and then services that make the data more useful.” He also talks about the company’s Permanent Identifier (PermID), the internal standard devised after the merger of Thomson and Reuters to master the company’s disparate databases, and offered freely with selected reference data to uniquely identify data items and ease the complexity of data management. While the machine readable identifier has not been greatly used outside Refinitiv, its time could now have come.

Mason suggests PermID could be used to link data in the cloud, perhaps being used by a quant wanting to access a dataset of fundamental data and environment, social and governance (ESG) data that is currently delivered in separate feeds. It could also link alternative data with other data, and be used to track datasets in the creation of knowledge graphs. Mason comments: “We are seeing success where banks are joining their own data with ours by working with the PermID. PermID becomes the key to the castle – we won’t license it and will make it available to all our clients.”

While cloud technology is and will be just one of the ways Refinitiv delivers data, it also plays well into reducing TCO. Taking a step back, Mason says that from a reference data point of view, the company talks a lot about ‘the voice of the consumer’ and looks at issues including data content coverage, how firms decide what to keep in-house and what to pass to third-parties so that they can focus on differentiation, consolidating data vendors to cut costs, and TCO, which can be reduced by using data in the cloud.

Related content

WEBINAR

Recorded Webinar: Optimising analytics – the role of data quality and data governance

Analytics are key to business decisions, revenue generation, optimal performance, risk mitigation, and more in capital markets – yet they are only as good as the data on which they are based, and that is not always very good. This webinar will consider how firms can build data quality and strong data governance as the...

BLOG

Persefoni Sees Real-Time Emissions Data Service as Game Changer

Carbon accounting startup Persefoni is building out an emissions auditing platform it says will give real-time visibility into companies’ climate risks. The platform will immediately add data from each corporate transaction and event, giving investors a minute-by-minute account of their portfolio companies’ emissions, Arizona-based Persefoni said. Its climate management and accounting platform (CMAP) uses artificial...

EVENT

TradingTech Summit Virtual (Redirected)

TradingTech Summit (TTS) Virtual will look at how trading technology operations can capitalise on recent disruption and leverage technology to find efficiencies in the new normal environment. The crisis has highlighted that the future is digital and cloud based, and the ability to innovate faster and at scale has become critical. As we move into recovery and ‘business as usual’, what changes and technology innovations should the industry adopt to simplify operations and to support speed, agility and flexibility in trading operations.

GUIDE

Regulatory Data Handbook 2021/2022 – Ninth Edition

Welcome to the ninth edition of A-Team Group’s Regulatory Data Handbook, a publication dedicated to helping you gain a full understanding of regulations related to your organisation from the details of requirements to best practice implementation. This edition of the handbook includes a focus on regulations being rolled out to bring order and standardisation to...