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SmartStream Supports Open Source Identifiers in Reference Data Utility

SmartStream Technologies is planning to help users of its Reference Data Utility – or SPReD Securities Product Reference Data platform – adopt open source identifiers following an agreement with Thomson Reuters under which the latter will provide reference data including open source PermID identifiers to the utility. The company is also in conversation with Bloomberg about including Financial Instrument Global Identifiers (FIGIs), formerly Bloomberg Global Identifiers (BBGIDs), in the reference data it will manage on behalf of utility customers.

SPReD was officially unveiled last month and is owned jointly by SmartStream, which is the largest shareholder, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. It is, essentially, SmartStream’s existing multi-tenanted data management service dropped into a new subsidiary company and already has over 20 customers including the founding banks as well as other banks, hedge funds and exchanges.

The utility cleanses, validates and cross references instrument data and associated legal entity data using a one-to-many model designed to deliver cost savings and operations improvements for customers. Its initial focus is on exchange listed derivatives, with equities and fixed income instruments to follow.

While SPReD already integrates and cross-references data from about 20 data vendors and around 70 exchanges, its work with Thomson Reuters’ machine readable PermID, and potentially Bloomberg’s FIGI, takes the utility and its customers into the realm of open source symbology that could ease the integration and cross-referencing challenges presented by multiple, and not always complete, vendor and proprietary identifiers.

Joseph Turso, vice president, SmartStream, says: “We are keen to support the open source initiative. Some of our customers that already use Thomson Reuters reference data would like to adopt PermID, so we will try to facilitate that. We are also talking to Bloomberg about making the FIGI available. Our customers are excited about the industry move towards a more open environment as it could reduce the complexity of cross-referencing numerous proprietary and vendor identifiers.

“In 2016, we expect the adoption of both PermID and the FIGI to be well underway, but as the utility is data source agnostic we can continue to manage all the proprietary identifiers used by our customers while facilitating adoption of open source identifiers.”

Debra Walton, chief content and product officer at Thomson Reuters, adds: “We are particularly pleased that SmartStream has chosen to use Thomson Reuters PermID as this is an important step for the industry in solving the increasingly complex challenge of data integration and linking.”

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