London - Reuters, the global news, information and technology group, has announced the creation of the Reference Data User Group (RDUG), a forum for leading members of the global securities industry to discuss and identify practical data management solutions to help achieve higher rates of straight through processing (STP).

The group, chaired by John Gubert, Head of Group Securities Services at HSBC Holdings Plc., will draw on its members' expertise to improve the management of global reference data. Supporting existing industry efforts in this area, it will investigate practical ways to deliver greater operational efficiency and performance.

The group, which will meet three times annually, is made up of key professionals from over twenty global broker/dealers, custodian banks and fund managers, including, Baring Asset, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW), Goldman Sachs, INVESCO, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, State Street Bank, and UBS Warburg.

Over the next 12 months the group will make specific recommendations to assist the industry tackle the issues associated with reference data. It will begin by reviewing the role of reference data in the trading process, focusing on instrument and client/counterparty data, and investigating ways to manage this data more effectively.

John Gubert, Head of Group Securities Services at HSBC Holdings Plc., and chairman of the group, said: "A firm cannot trade effectively without good quality and well managed reference data. Finding more effective ways to maintain and manage this data is a crucial issue for financial institutions and the industry as a whole. Working with Reuters and other leading firms to share knowledge and practical experience of this problem and the best way to solve it, will help to bring us all closer to achieving true STP."

Anthony Kirby, Head of Reuters STP Programme, and secretary of RDUG, said: "Sixty one per cent of respondents in the latest TowerGroup survey on Outsourcing Data Management cited reference data projects as high or top priority. Bringing the industry together, through the reference data user group, demonstrates Reuters commitment to assisting our customers address the unnecessary risks associated with unreliable reference data and to improve the efficiency of their trading process."

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