The Financial Industry Guest List

Tine Thoresen, editor, Inside Reference Data

While some would say this month¹s hot ticket was for the small family affair called the Royal Wedding, others would rather have received an invitation to take part in discussions looking at the requirements for legal entity identification.
There is increased collaboration in the industry at the moment, with market participants teaming up to respond to regulatory requests for the industry to take the lead and agree on how to solve the legal entity identification challenge. Regulators have asked the financial industry to come together and solve the problem, and this is what is now happening in the market.
The issue is that there is not one single association representing the entire financial industry, so what exactly is this 'financial industry' that regulators refer to?
It has never been more relevant than now to understand the meaning of the term 'financial industry'. It could mean the difference between whether you are on the list or off the list. Some would say the gold invitations should be privy to sell-side and buy-side institutions, while others consider information and system providers and other service organizations to be part of the financial industry.
In January, Inside Reference Data reported that Financial InterGroup hosted the Global Open Forum, a conference call on responding to regulators' requests for a global consensus on data standards. The call was attended by more than 100 individuals, representing more than 40 organizations, including financial institutions, software providers, regulatory bodies and industry associations.
This month's cover story is about the work done by the coalition of trade associations, which is also aimed at getting a global industry consensus.
Sixteen financial industry trade associations took part in the discussions, which included 43 firms, mainly banks, investment firms and fund managers.
It might seem like this is as good as it gets. The financial industry is simply too big to get everyone around the table‹and it seems market participants have to accept there are not enough seats to invite everyone.
In the end, it will be the regulators' decision to decide on who is in and who is out‹and whose opinions matter the most.
In our annual industry awards, it is the end-users' opinions that matter. Around a thousand have now voted in our reader survey, and the list of finalists has been released. Everyone is invited to book a table for the awards dinner in New York on May 24. The invitation may not be gold-embossed, but for the reference data industry, it should be an equally great day.

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