Buy-Side Technology Awards 2014: Winners' Circle—Rimes Technologies

Alessandro Ferrari

Few organizations have been as successful in these awards as Rimes Technologies, which continues to impress with its consistent performance and its forward-looking approach to industry issues. James Rundle sat down with Alessandro Ferrari, senior vice president of global marketing, to discuss data governance, the lineage of information, and increased pressure on data management functions at buy-side firms.

Rimes Technologies has cemented its reputation with its eighth win in the best data provider category at the Buy-Side Technology Awards. Given this remarkable achievement, what are the ways in which you’ve seen data provision evolve?
Alessandro Ferrari, Rimes Technologies: There’s been a growing requirement on the buy side for data governance, as well as in areas such as data lineage. I like to frame those two as the lifecycle of a dataset. That takes care of data all the way from its origination, through its commissioning, and it looks at the data as it is being transformed by the various departments that require it. The drivers behind this are from business intelligence—or the requirements put on the analysis of the data and deriving valuable conclusions from it—but also incoming regulatory requirements, such as Solvency II and other areas.

How have you responded to this at Rimes?
Ferrari: Well, at Rimes we welcome this. We believe that we have been advocates of data governance before anyone else, and it really is the bread and butter of our business. As a result, all of our managed data services include transparent data lineage for all of the data.

And in terms of what you’re hearing from your clients, what have been some of the big challenges they have faced this year?
Ferrari: We recently hosted our second annual data governance conference in London, which saw the participation of 80 buy-side clients and prospects. As part of the registration process for the conference, we asked all of them to fill out a survey, which we did last year so that we could compare the results from year to year. We asked them to tell us what the biggest impact on their decision-making processes related to data management have been, and we had some very interesting findings that came out of that survey. Around 28 percent cited the adoption of more complex investment strategies and products; 27 percent mentioned onerous regulatory compliance requirements as having an impact; and a further 25 percent mentioned the rise in data costs. These were the three primary areas that came out, and in the past, represented the three elephants in the room for buy-side firms. Now, though, that is obviously not the case, and they are becoming very topical indeed.

With that in mind, what can we expect in 2015 from Rimes?
Ferrari: Our primary data solution, the Benchmark Data Service, continues to go from strength to strength. Recently, we launched two new data management services. The first is Rimes RDS, which takes care of a firm’s reference data management requirements, and offers a gateway to better reference data management, enabling cost-effective sourcing, remediation, transformation, storage and distribution to business processes. The second is the Rimes Data Governance Service, which addresses many of the concerns I’ve mentioned, and gives our clients control over data usage throughout their enterprise, from on-boarding to decommissioning. It covers all key elements of good data governance from procurement, information management, and compliance management.

“We believe that we have been advocates of data governance before anyone else, and it really is the bread and butter of our business.” Alessandro Ferrari, Rimes Technologies
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