Tim Lind has parted ways with enterprise data management specialist GoldenSource for pastures new at Thomson Financial/DTCC-owned post-trade, pre-settlement solutions provider Omgeo. As Omgeo’s new managing director, strategic planning, Lind reports directly to president and CEO Marianne Brown, and is also a member of Omgeo’s executive team.
Lind’s move must be viewed as something of a loss for GoldenSource, where he was senior vice president, product management and strategy. He has been a high profile industry commentator for a number of years, and indeed played a significant role in drumming up the current high level of interest in reference data when in his previous job he spearheaded analyst TowerGroup’s oft-quoted research into the impact of poor reference data management on operational efficiency back in 2002.
He remains highly complimentary about the EDM vendor. “I have great admiration for my colleagues at GoldenSource and I believe them to have the best product in the market,” he says. “Given the market potential, and the skills of the people within the company, as the market matures and opens up I believe GoldenSource will do very well.”
Lind characterises his move to Omgeo as “coming home to a market I’ve always appreciated”. “I have always been a big fan of Omgeo – and of Thomson ESG and DTCC previously – and during my previous time at Swift I was very involved in financial messaging, with a focus on connectivity between counterparties in the post-trade world,” he says.
His role at Omgeo is effectively to manage strategy for the company, he continues. “Omgeo has a lot of ambitions around further leveraging its community of users and expanding globally in Asia and Europe and across asset classes and types of support in the post-trade, pre-settlement space. We recognise we need to continue to build upon our comprehensive plan for the outward facing groups – sales, product management and marketing. I will be analysing market trends and working out how to piece our approach together to enable us to target our market in the most coherent way.”
Partners are “a top priority for Omgeo” he continues, and for reference data watchers one of the most interesting potential partnerships could be between Omgeo and Lind’s former employer Swift. The bank-owned co-operative has made its intention to get into the standing settlement instruction (SSI) game (again) pretty plain – the provision of a central SSI database on Swiftnet is one of the key objectives of its reference data strategy initiative for 2010 (Reference Data Review, September 2006). It is understood Swift will announce its plans at Sibos in Boston in October, though it is not yet clear whether it intends to round on securities SSIs or stick to the treasury/derivatives arena – or whether it will operate alone or in partnership with an incumbent provider. Omgeo, via its Alert service, is the dominant incumbent in the securities SSI arena, though it should be said that dissatisfaction with the Alert model is widespread, since it imposes no standardisation on data formats and because it charges per call, making receiving updates to SSIs a potentially very expensive business. Not an entity known for moving quickly, Swift had hinted that it might announce a partnership with Omgeo for SSIs at Sibos last October in Sydney – an announcement that never came.
Lind is cautiously positive on the prospects for a Swift/Omgeo tie-up on SSIs. “There are some excellent opportunities for relationships between Omgeo and Swift,” he says. ““We cater for different aspects of the marketplace, but I think there are a lot of ways we can bring messaging and traffic to the Swift network. We are the definitive content source in institutional settlement instructions. How we can use the banking muscle of the custodian industry and distribute our content through their reach is a very interesting opportunity for collaboration.”