RIMES Technologies continued it domination of the best data provider category at this year’s BST Awards, winning the title for the 11th straight year. Victor Anderson speaks to Alessandro Ferrari about what sets RIMES apart from other providers in this highly competitive market, the key to the firm’s impressive client retention record, and its 2018 expectations.
RIMES has won the best data provider category for the past 11 Buy-Side Technology Awards. To what does the firm attribute this continued success? What does RIMES do differently to other providers that helps differentiate it in a highly lucrative and competitive market?
Alessandro Ferrari, EVP, global marketing, RIMES Technologies: We’re different because of the breadth and depth of what we provide: a custom-managed data service, not a pre-packaged solution, which not only feeds system-ready data into over 60 third-party solutions and many in-house systems, but also covers all index and reference challenges, including customization and blending, asset-allocation support, preview and proforma data, credit ratings, classifications, price-aligned analytics and security identification. We provide bespoke, quality data that is fit-for-purpose and ready for use in destination systems and business processes. This way data costs are aligned to business success and ‘hidden’ data management costs are eliminated. We enable business change and responsiveness, helping our customers become more agile so that they can seize new opportunities quickly and confidently, while supporting good data governance, with increased data transparency and control.
RIMES has always prided itself on its outstanding client-retention record. Is this a conscious thing that RIMES focuses on, and if so, how does it go about maintaining that client focus?
Ferrari: Absolutely. Our 350 clients, which now include half of the top 100 asset managers by total assets under management, give us the best insight into all the data challenges experienced by the industry (asset managers, asset owners and servicers) and an understanding of what’s required to handle those challenges. We know all specialist data types, all regulatory requirements, and all systems or processes for which data is required.
RIMES has become more of a data management service/technology provider than simply a provider of customized datasets/services. What are the keys to this strategy, and was it a conscious thing, or is RIMES simply responding to customers’ demands?
Ferrari: Very simply, the RIMES platform has grown with our customers. Back in 1996, we pioneered cloud-based technology to support our teams in the mass-delivery of tailored, fit-for-purpose financial data feeds to our customers. As our customers’ data requirements continue to grow, so does our focus on providing an unrivalled service and the best technology. This way, our managed data service continues to fulfil all tactical needs for the efficient delivery of accurate, timely data, helping our customers realize strategic aims such as managing business change and becoming more responsive to their clients’ needs. With RIMES, they can source and manage the exact data they need to perform the diverse range of functions for which that data is used, at the same time retaining control over who is using data, where they are using it, and for what purpose.
What is RIMES focusing on for 2018, bearing in mind that we will shortly be entering the Benchmarks Regulation and Mifid II era?
Ferrari: Regulation! Last year saw the introduction of the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and from January, asset managers, banks and insurance companies will need to comply with the Benchmarks Regulation (BMR) and the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (Mifid II), both created in response to cases of market manipulation, and seeking to beef up regulatory oversight and restore confidence in the EU’s financial markets. At RIMES, we know MAR, the BMR and Mifid II inside out, and have all the solutions to tackle them: RIMES RegFocussm MAR (and Mifid II) and RIMES RegFocussm BMR.
At the same time, we’re determined to protect our managed data service’s ‘best-in-class’ status for the delivery of the most accurate, comprehensive and timeliest data from 50 different countries and sources, verified by a team of experts, databased and validated before transformation. All of this is underlined by the best technology: an infrastructure invisible to our customers, yet capable of handling hundreds of complex data sources to produce thousands of unique customized feeds.
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