Standard & Poor’s is trumpeting the availability of feed handlers to integrate a range of its data services into Asset Control’s AC Plus solution. The integration is, says S&P, a demonstration of its strong and well co-ordinated relationship with the data management systems vendor, which should serve to reassure mutual clients that they will not suffer as a result of their suppliers failing to work well together.
According to Darren Purcell, director, securities classifications at S&P, there are already Asset Control clients using S&P data, including its RatingsXpress service, for global credit ratings, research and risk analysis. “Typically of all our feeds the ratings product is the one that is heavily used and used first,” he says. “Services like GICS Direct (Global Industry Classification Standard) – those that enable clients to group data – are also quite popular in these systems,” he adds.
In fact, S&P has a growing number of clients that are Asset Control users, Purcell says, including one of its biggest clients for Security to Entity CrossWalk (the product it provides in alliance with D&B and Telekurs Financial). “There are different flavours of CrossWalk,” he adds. “The existing client uses a portfolio version, for which connectivity to Asset Control is already in place. Among the new interfaces to Asset Control is one connecting the bulk version of CrossWalk.”
Other S&P feeds for which integration with AC Plus is now available include its CUSIP Master File data feeds. Asset Control will also add the following S&P feeds: the ISIDPlus Master Service, Securities Data Manager and the Associated Obligor Service.
Since Asset Control’s is one of the more established data management systems on the market, observers might find it surprising that connectivity to many of the S&P feeds hasn’t been established already. Purcell says the aim has not been to try “to do this all at once”. “Our requirements in terms of feed handlers are just those of one of many data vendors wanting many feed handlers. We have sought to prioritise to establish the biggest demands from the S&P perspective and then co-ordinate the work at a high level,” he says.
There is a “fine balancing act” to be struck on the timing of feed handler builds, he reckons. “Do we wait until we have a client who needs it, which then means there is a delay for them, or do we do it speculatively? We are seeking to co-ordinate this activity so that connectivity is neither put in place too late, nor too early, which risks wasting the time and resources of the software company.” There will always be “the odd client” waiting for a feed handler, he adds, “and the more users a software vendor has the more variables there are to consider”.
S&P seeks to inform its clients upfront about the likely length of a feed handler build, Purcell says. “We ask the vendor, based on their experience, what the timeline would be for implementation. We can then provide that information upfront to the client when they are evaluating the feed.”