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Talking Reference Data with Andrew Delaney: Lessons From Mitteleuropa

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Chatting with one of our favourite data practitioners as we stood in the passport line at our favourite airport – if Heineken did airports, they’d do London City – en route home from the FIMA DACH event in Frankfurt yesterday, we remarked how ‘the Europeans’ had a different attitude toward data management from the Anglo-Saxon mentality that pervades the NYLON axis I typically shuttle on.

If that sounds like a sweeping statement – and one that could be applied to the UK’s relationship with the EU, for example – then maybe it is. But what became apparent from sitting in several panel discussions at FIMA DACH – nothing to do with dachshunds, WBR’s Henry Wallis points out, it’s for Deutschland, Austria and Switzerland (CH) – was the willingness of competitive banks to set their rivalries aside and truly talk about cooperation to address the industry’s many data management issues.

We NYLONistas don’t seem to like that kind of thing.

Case in point was my discovery that the Oesterreichische Wertpapierdaten Service (OWS) supplies 97% of Austria’s banks with data on some 1.3 million securities for their back-office systems, many of whose are based on the Geos platform from Software Daten Service GmbH. Apparently. Notwithstanding the fact that Austria is a relatively small market, this belies a level of cooperation inconceivable in the City or on Wall Street.

And listening to Francis Gross’s excellent presentation on the LEI – and an informative panel discussion around the same topic, some of which will inform our webinar next Wednesday (register for free here) – I was struck by the session’s presumption that ‘We’re all in it together. This is a good thing and we must work to make it work.’

Once again, many LEI debates I’ve witnessed in London and New York have taken a much more sceptical stance. Indeed, Gross – who as head of the statistics division of the European Central Bank has been nothing short of a pioneer in this area – took a barrage of figurative rotten tomatoes from a hostile audience in his early presentations on LEI at FIMA London.

FIMA DACH was also refreshing in the degree of candidness of the presenters. There was a great session on Bank Vontobel’s deployment of AIM Software’s GAIN platform to create a BPO model for delivering data to Vontobel’s clients (of which, more later). In fact, Vontobel became the first bank in Europe to sign a data redistribution deal for Bloomberg data, according to Stefan Buetler, the product management executive at Vontobel who led the project.

And DZ Bank’s Christian Schueller gave a great presentation on the firm’s deployment of Solace Systems’ hardware-based content router in order to circumnavigate a clunky old Thomson Reuters Market Data System (RMDS, a.k.a. Enteprise Platform for Real Time). Featuring an array of system and architecture diagrams, the presentation made for a refreshing change from the highly caveated lectures we often hear these days in London and New York.

Back at City Airport, we mused at how the event had been like stepping back in to the past, to more innocent times, when reference data was ‘boring’ and people could say what they liked about it and nobody cared.

No more.

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