IMD & IRD Awards 2020: Best Reference Data Provider—Bloomberg

Inside Market Data & Inside Reference Data Awards 2020

Brad Foster, Bloomberg
Brad Foster, Bloomberg

Collecting the Best Reference Data Provider award for the second consecutive year is Bloomberg. Its reference data offering is part of a wider content value proposition delivered by the Enterprise Data Business. “When clients look at us, it is not just about reference data, but what other data sits adjacent to that,” explains Brad Foster, head of enterprise content. “We have regulatory data, accounting data, valuation and pricing data and so on. We can provide this data in a way that allows clients to link it together using common identifiers and symbology linkages, which is extremely powerful.”

Over the past 12 to 18 months, Bloomberg has invested heavily in reference data and believes that the amount of data it can provide makes the firm stand out. One recent development is the inclusion of holdings data coverage for mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. “Whether for regulatory or purely risk management purposes, it is no longer good enough to only know what funds you are exposed to, you also have to know what the underlying exposure is, so having access to data that tells you that is incredibly important,” says Foster.

Another particularly topical area is environmental, social and governance (ESG) data. Bloomberg has long provided ESG data on its terminal, but now offers it as an enterprise datafeed and recently announced proprietary ESG performance scores. According to Foster, “ESG data has become absolutely critical. People care about environmental and social issues, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because many also believe that companies that focus on these factors typically perform better.”

Bloomberg clients are also finding particular value in the company’s supply chain data. “It has become really clear to clients that they have to understand when they analyse a company, who their suppliers are and who their customers are and how exposed they are both up and down the supply chain,” says Foster. “This was important pre-Covid, when you look at what has been happening with China–US relations. However, it has now become even more critical as we navigate Covid-19.”

Aside from the breadth and depth of its data, Bloomberg also highlights the historic data it provides as a key differentiator. “For many of the quant and risk use-cases of our data, it is really important to have history and we are able to provide significant historical data compared to our competitors.”

Looking ahead, Bloomberg is continuing to build on the investments it has made reflecting the importance of good reference data. “If you consider the workflow challenges or the regulatory challenges, such as Fundamental Review of the Trading Book, faced by clients, reference data is usually at the heart of that,” says Foster. “So getting your reference data management strategy right is vitally important.”


Read more about the Inside Market Data & Inside Reference Data Awards 2020 winners

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