Bloomberg Launches Managed Service for Reference Data
February 7, 2013
Bloomberg has rolled out a service that will price bond, stocks and other securities for asset managers, drawing on data feeds from not just itself, but multiple suppliers.
The service will be managed by an independently organized unit called Bloomberg PolarLake, based in Dublin.
The unit will be "vendor-agnostic'' in pulling in and redistributing pricing data from Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and other sources, said Stanley Young, chief executive of the enterprise products and solutions division of market data and services provider Bloomberg, founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Young is former chief executive of NYSE Technologies.
The first customer is the largest bank in Sweden, Swedbank, which will use the service to keep a master list of securities it holds across 22 types of assets.
Among the sources of data will be SIX Financial Information, a unit of the Switzerland's SIX Group. SIX Financial Information formerly was known as Telekurs.
Bloomberg acquired PolarLake in May 2012 and has been converting its data management software into a service that it will offer to customers from a data center in Dublin that it will manage. PolarLake used to install the software on the customer's site.
Managing a service that can serve multiple customers allows the supplier to update its products as needed and manage just one installation site. The approach also cuts costs and complexity for customers, Young said.
If a bank or fund company or other financial institution tries to gather pricing and other reference data for 22 different classes of security, then that company has to find and maintain all the requisite data feeds in a usable fashion.
"They have to onboard those feeds, they have to deal with the protocols, the formats, they have to maintain those feeds, they have to do validation rules around the feeds to make sure they're operating properly,'' he said. "There's a lot of process, just ingesting those feeds."
But that's just the start. "Then they have to manufacture something from those (feeds). Which is around applying their own rule sets to the data sources, which then gives them a result that they can apply to their portfolios,'' he said.
Only then can they tell clients and regulators what their holdings are and what they are worth.
Regulatory compliance, risk managmeent and cost management are what will drive asset holders to sign up for managed services such as this, Young contends.
Besides being organized as a separate entity, PolarLake tries to demonstrate its independence from Bloomberg by maintaining its own data center and network, as well as having its operations reviewed by its own auditor, Young said.