December 2018: Getting There

Data management is more about striving than finalizing.

Jamie Hyman 2017

Whether the goal is compliance, a coveted technological breakthrough or truly, robustly streamlined data management, sometimes it seems like the work within the capital markets data space is less about churn and more about striving to grasp something just out of reach. 

End of year is a good time to reflect on what it takes to get there, wherever there may be. Nearly a full year past Mifid II implementation, data managers are now anticipating Mifid III and whatever demands it may bring. Firms that have mastered their data governance—and the tech companies that supply the tools to make data hum—may feel comfortable with their systems, until they recall the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and its aftermath. And of course, there is always room for innovation, disruption be damned. 

In this issue, I round out my series on semantics with an exploration of the power of standards and ontologies, sizing up their capacity on a macro, data-management level, as well as revealing how semantics can identify risk and generate insights that pay off on the trading floor. My discussions with the people doing the important, groundbreaking work in standards reveal what it will take for the industry to get to the point where semantics’ potential becomes reality. 

Wei-Shen Wong’s feature on corporate actions also talks about potential, but from the perspective of missed opportunities: specifically, billions of dollars lost as a result of asset managers failing to process corporate actions. Anthony Malakian investigates how banks, asset managers and vendors are toying with the potential of deep learning with a report that highlights successful initiatives, reveals which experiments have failed and why, and demonstrates how deep learning can bring value, if only firms can get there.  

In her analysis of what make a good replacement for Libor, Amelia Axelson explores a lingering area of doubt: what will happen when the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) makes tracks. Right now, there is consensus that a data-driven benchmark is the best plan, but experts are still searching for a suitable substitute as Libor’s deadline draws near. With the Mifid II deadline far in the rearview mirror, Hamad Ali weighs the winners and losers, and reveals which of the regulation’s issues remain unresolved. The end of 2017 was all about Mifid II, but the end of 2018 seems to be more about firms internalizing that their compliance obligations are not complete — and they might never get there. 

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