Legal Entity Identifiers special report

ird-legal-entity-identifier-report-march2014

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LEI on the March

The industry has come quite far over the past few years with implementation of the legal entity identifier (LEI). That's reflected in the Virtual Roundtable discussion in this special report about the LEI. For one thing, LEI systems now "actually exist," as Scott Preiss of CUSIP Global Services says. Pre-local operating units (pre-LOUs) for issuing identifiers are now in place in many countries worldwide. The central operating unit (COU), which promises to tie all the pre-LOUs together and remove inconsistencies, is also on its way.

The European Market Infrastructure Regulation's requirement for identifiers, which took effect February 12, has been a major factor in pushing the LEI registration and issuance process along, as SIX Financial Information's Darren Marsh points out, and as our News Review makes clear (page 6).

Panelists in the Roundtable also look ahead to the rest of this year and into the next. Noetic Partners' Justin Magruder points to the Regulatory Oversight Committee's work on guiding pre-LOUs, for instance. He predicts a 25% to 30% increase in the formation of LOUs by the end of 2014, and says most markets will have one by 2015.

No endeavor worth completing is without its challenges, however. The COU must be completed to ensure the "consistent administration" of the LEI, says Tim Lind of Thomson Reuters. The need to collect identifier data from numerous LOUs will result in greater costs for firms and data suppliers, he adds.

All told, this special report captures both the momentous progress and the pitfalls that have been happening lately with LEI implementation-a field that looks set to remain busy for the foreseeable future.

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