Following the announcement earlier in the week that entity data vendor CounterpartyLink and SmartCo have integrated their offerings, Pascal Mougin, chairman of the EDM vendor speaks to A-Team Group about his perspective on the tie up.
Mougin explains that the choice to work with the entity data vendor was a relatively simple one: “CounterpartyLink is a longstanding and great provider for third parties data that is important to consider. Moreover we already have common clients that are very happy with our respective and complementary offers. Mixing and supporting them together will bring them more added value.”
CounterpartyLink sells itself on its ability to prove the accuracy of its data and the linkages between data sets and attributes. To this end, the data is maintained and linked to and sourced from company registration documents, regulatory and exchange filings. This was a significant selling point for the EDM vendor to seek out a non-exclusive partnership arrangement.
“Within SmartCo DataHub Business Entity, CounterpartyLink allows our clients to validate their existing entity data, including data related to counterparties, clients, issuers and obligors, against the CounterpartyLink database, including names, address information, parent hierarchy field (immediate and ultimate), a variety of related codes and identifiers, and miscellaneous information as contact details, corporate events, and history,” explains Mougin. “All data enrichment and validation are accompanied with status reports providing valuable insight into the quality of client entity information.”
As noted by CounterpartyLink’s head of sales and marketing, James Redfern, earlier this week, the vendors have been in discussions about a possible partnership for some time. “We have known each other and have had common clients for a long time, and we wanted to move one step further and bring to clients the ability to quickly implement their third party data into the data management organisation,” explains Mougin.
The real driver for SmartCo was to extend its data reach into the entity space, which has received a great deal of attention over the last year or so as a result of regulatory and client scrutiny of the space related to risk management. “Beyond the entity data content available in our client database, CounterpartyLink provides a complete workflow to identify, request and download entity information from their database,” elaborates Mougin. “Based on file transfer and email notification mechanisms, this process is really helpful for business entities, because of the missing standardisation of entities identification.”
Thus to help CounterpartyLink to identify and match the entities to be subscribed, the process workflow lets SmartCo provide its clients with various possible identifiers as primary exchange ticker symbols, recognised industry identifiers (such as US EIN, tax IDs, or BIC code) or recognised security identifiers (such as ISINs or Cusips), as well as descriptive information, including name, street number/name, city, state, province, postal code and country information. “Once entities are identified, the client receives either a full file refresh or a delta file including all changes applied to the data set since the last update,” explains Mougin. The frequency of these updates can be determined by each individual client.
“This process is now fully integrated and automated inside SmartCo DataHub, as a ready to use function, to enable our clients to certify, complement and enrich their existing entity database,” he continues.
The lack of common entity data standards has long been a bugbear for financial institutions and the coverage provided by most vendors in the space is often judged not to be entirely comprehensive. However, as noted by A-Team Group recently, Swift is considering extending its future role in this space and the European Central Bank (ECB) has also taken an active interest in the entity data world.
In the meantime however, vendors have the opportunity to capitalise on the lack of standardisation in the space. To this end, Mougin is convinced of the joint solution’s attractiveness for the market: “Clients always have the choice of the right vendor for software and for data; but a client looking for this combination will have the guarantee of a immediate delivery and implementation, whether it is a new client, or an installed client extending its data coverage.”
There were no significant challenges for SmartCo in integrating the data into its solution, says Mougin, who adds that the specific added value lies in the process workflow to interact with the CounterpartyLink team.
“We have been working in the business entity data management space since 2004, well in advance to most others data management platform vendors,” claims Mougin. “We also currently handle highly complex business entity data management challenges for very large clients, proving the outstanding range of capacity of SmartCo in this space.”
Compared to the other current and future offerings, Mougin therefore believes that the joint offering is a unique product featuring: “SmartCo’s robust and flexible technology combined with the very rich and broad data management functionalities that allow CounterpartyLink data to be processed, managed and exposed in an unprecedented and unmatched level of flexibility and ease to the client.” Next year will likely indicate whether the market agrees with this statement.