Waters Rankings 2020: Best Reference Data Provider—Refinitiv

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Until 2018, when Refinitiv was still Thomson Reuters, its flagship data delivery platform, DataScope Select and DataScope Plus, won the best reference data provider category in the Waters Rankings six years in row. Archrival Bloomberg then took the title for two years, but in 2020, Refinitiv is back, with some key strategic enhancements.

Russell Ironside, proposition manager for pricing and reference services at Refinitiv, says that in the past year, DataScope Plus—which provides bulk access to Refinitiv’s full range of pricing and reference data—has been enhanced to offer cross-asset pricing and reference content across all fixed-income sub-asset classes, exchange-traded content, syndicated bank loans and commodities. “It also provides corporate actions, analytics and legal entity data, all within an intuitive graphical interface that enables clients to decide exactly which attributes they require for each dataset,” Ironside says. “These enhancements culminated in a globally available multi-asset class service that is able to provide data on a rolling 15-minute basis, and which offers a significantly improved security master feed in keeping with the demands of our clients.”

These demands sharpened this year, as volatility roiled markets in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Refinitiv experienced a massive increase in demand for portfolio valuations, with “many market participants who previously relied on a daily or weekly price assessment requesting data much more frequently to ensure they had an accurate and reliable understanding of the value of their holdings. Across all debt asset classes, the daily volume of requests received by Refinitiv increased by a third following the global government lockdown initiatives in March,” Ironside says.

But even with so much else going on, regulation is still a foremost concern for Refinitiv’s reference data clients, Ironside adds. “Most market participants are conscious of the increased number of regulations impacting the industry, which drive adjustments to their workflows and new reporting obligations. These reports often demand regulatory specific taxonomies, instrument flags and professional services, which Refinitiv helps address,” he says.

In the coming year, Refinitiv plans to expand content and services, notably around the introduction of the EU Taxonomy for sustainable finance, and build out the trade discovery service within its existing Fundamental Review of the Trading Book proposition.

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