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Talking Reference Data with Andrew Delaney: IBOR, Therefore I Am

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Eighteen months ago, we conducted a survey of 40 or so enterprise architects and data management professionals at Tier 1 and Tier 2 buy- and sell-side firms to try to understand how Big Data could be applied to our marketplace. The answers – you can download the report, sponsored by Platform Computing (now part of IBM) here – were many and varied. But one response – from an executive at a household-name US Tier 1 investment bank – stuck with me. In a nutshell, he said: “Real-time P&L is the Holy Grail.”

It may well remain so – the Holy Grail, that is. But that vision from two years ago has transmogrified to something more tangible: on-demand investment book of record, or IBOR. Not to be confused with Libor, of course, IBOR essentially aims to provide an up-to-date view of a firm’s position across all of its investment operations.

Simple, right?

Wrong. Achieving IBOR – and specifically IBOR on demand – points to a major data management challenge: how to bring all pertinent transaction, position and client data together in a way that is usable, by the front office (which seems to be driving the immediate demand), and by post-trade functions like risk, finance and accounting.

How can IBOR be achieved?

The short answer is: we don’t know. But we’re determined to find out. That’s why we’re hosting a webinar that looks at this topic on June 4.

Titled ‘Best Practices for Optimal Portfolio Pricing and On-Demand Investment Book of Record (IBOR)’, the webinar will feature a hand-picked panel of experts whom I’ll grill to get to the bottom of how technologies like enterprise data management (EDM) in its various guises can help firms get a grip on multiply sourced pricing and, indeed, IBOR.

What’s clear is that regulatory and business factors are driving fund managers and their asset-servicing providers to wring more value from their pricing systems. No longer purely the remit of the back-office accounting function, net asset value (NAV) calculations shifting to an intra-day routine to satisfy new demands from the front office, among them IBOR.

The ability to handle a more complex pricing process is becoming imperative. The increasingly international flavour of many portfolios means straddling multiple regulatory regimes and relying on multiple pricing sources to ensure accurate and up-to-date data for reporting purposes. And whether deployed internally or via a third-party asset-servicing group, it’s the pricing data management platform that is required to do much of the heavy-lifting when it comes to collecting, normalizing the delivering pricing data from many different sources in order to meet these requirements.

EDM platforms are increasingly required to collate transaction data in order to achieve create a reliable IBOR to enhance risk management and pre-trade decision-making.

How can it be done? Tune in on June 4 and find out.

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