Pulling the Data Quality Thread In Data Governance

Granularity of data proving important in multiple governance and compliance efforts


The granularity of data is proving important in multiple governance and compliance efforts, as recent Inside Reference Data features attest

With several European regulations, and their imminent deadlines, at the center of financial services data managers' attention now, this issue looks at their impact from several angles. Our coverage, on these compliance issues, as well as data governance more generally (and globally), also digs into the granularity or specificity of data that is increasingly needed to support these efforts.

Solvency II, the EU directive on reporting for the purposes of capital adequacy by insurance firms, could have the effect of getting insurers to manage their capital more wisely once they have to manage data about their holdings more carefully, as Joanna Wright reports in "Obligation ... or Opportunity?" Asset managers serving the insurance industry, an €8.5 trillion market, will be tasked with optimizing and growing assets to shore up their Solvency II balance sheets, EY executive director Gareth Mee tells us. While the changes being driven by Solvency II may create pitfalls for asset managers who cannot provide "look-throughs" on data in a timely way, the changes are also going to create overall business opportunities for asset managers.

The same asset management firms are intensifying their search for data that is common to compliance with the whole gamut of new rules—Solvency II, of course, plus MiFID II, MiFiR, BCBS 239, Basel III and EMIR. Similar to the manner in which Solvency II could create opportunity for asset managers, the quest for common-ground data could derive more value out of firms' overall stores of data, as ING's Stephane Malrait says in "Call To Action." “In other industries, the value of the company is driven based on the data they have,” he says. “They don’t see data as a cost. They see it as a revenue center. The financial industry is starting to slowly move toward that.”

In another piece in this issue, "Redundancy Debate," data governance specialists share their thoughts on how exactly to go about reconciling data from multiple sources, which could be an important aspect of collecting and maintaining the aforementioned “common ground” data that can, in turn, be applied to multiple compliance efforts. Whatever the specifics of governing data to organize it and apply it to the right channels for the various regulations, getting to a “granular” level and ensuring high quality remains the key prerequisite, as Kevin Mahn of Hennion & Walsh Asset Management said.

Finally, our "Interview With..." feature this month, is the first time we've heard someone put together "governance, risk and compliance" (GRC) as a concept, tying all these threads together. Marc Leipoldt, a risk executive for Saudi Hollandi Bank, encountered what many in comparable positions may be finding with impending compliance deadlines—a need to manage "qualitative and unruly data." By implementing a GRC plan that includes a rigorous schedule of audits and collection of data into a single environment, Saudi Hollandi is still working toward aggregating and integrating data in the manner Leipoldt envisions, but it has improved the quality of the firm's data.

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