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Markit and Omgeo Partner to Set New Financial Industry Standard for Account Documentation

Broker/Dealers and Investment Managers Applaud Joint Efforts to Reduce Operational Risk

Markit, a leading, global financial information services company, and Omgeo, the global standard for post-trade efficiency, today announced that they have partnered to standardize and enhance the way buy- and sell side firms manage documents required to open and maintain accounts. The partnership links client settlement instructions used in trade allocations with client documentation used in account opening by joining the benefits of two leading industry services: Markit Document Exchange (MDE), a central online platform for counterparties to exchange documentation securely and efficiently, and Omgeo ALERTSM, a web-based global database for the maintenance and communication of standing settlement and account instructions (SSI).

The asset management industry has long recognized the need to improve operational efficiency in the account opening process. Institutions like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank have voiced their full support to help the industry adopt this initiative that sets the new standard for centrally storing, organizing and communicating all critical entity and account documents.

All trading relationships begin with an onboarding process that includes the exchange of documents required for compliance. By linking the documents on MDE to the accounts on Omgeo ALERT, the sell side can identify the counterparty, access its associated documents and efficiently open an account. This is particularly relevant when a trade is allocated to an account that is undocumented (or not fully opened) by the sell side. Speeding the onboarding process lowers operational cost and reduces settlement times and the risk of failed trades.

Markit’s expertise in streamlining the exchange of vital documents between buy- and sell side participants, combined with Omgeo’s success in building a global community of users of a centralized solution, positions the firms to set a new standard in account opening and trade settlement.

“Globally, the financial services industry is prioritizing transparency and operational efficiency. The Markit and Omgeo partnership will allow the industry to more effectively meet new and changing regulatory requirements by streamlining the client onboarding process, a historically time-intensive and manual workflow,” said Jon May, Global Head of Client Onboarding, Goldman Sachs.

“We think that Markit’s and Omgeo’s efforts are very timely. This partnership helps improve transparency and helps the investment management community automate regulatory document distribution to brokers. It enables us to know, in real time, when a new account is fully on-boarded,” said Cynthia L Meyn, Executive Vice President of PIMCO Operations.

“We welcome Markit’s and Omgeo’s efforts to set a new standard for client information and data and we are confident that when broadly adopted, it will make our industry more efficient,” added Michael Ceta, Vice President of Trade Support and Settlements at Alliance Bernstein.

“The financial world is becoming more transparent and automated. However, managing client documentation and data is largely a manual process prone to errors and delays. By linking Markit’s offering with ALERT’s customer base, MDE can help the industry make significant progress towards true, end-to-end straight-through processing,” said Lansing Gatrell, Co-Head of Markit Document Exchange at Markit.

“We share a common vision for making our community more efficient and reducing operational risk. Markit is a valuable partner with an impressive track record and we are thrilled about joining forces on this initiative”, said John Burchenal, Managing Director of Market Growth at Omgeo.

Markit Document Exchange (MDE) was launched in 2008 to create a centralized platform to hold documents for the buy- and sell side, with 140 investment managers and 50 broker/dealers on the service today. Going forward, Omgeo ALERT clients will be able to easily access MDE through a tab on their ALERT interface. When updating their ALERT settlement instructions and reference data, users are encouraged to upload associated documents to MDE.