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The Executive Concierge Services offering was developed to assist asset managers, Hedge Funds, and small to mid-tier banks with a market data strategy. Typically, these firms do not employ a Global Head of market data and may lack the expertise to develop a long term roadmap that addresses all of the challenges that firms face.
West Highland offers a “Global Head of Market Data” for hire to solve this problem. We are subject matter experts that manage market data including defining the market data strategy, establishing appropriate vendor / service mix, negotiating contracts, and establishing proper operating models.
West Highland creates a detailed overview of the current client environment including applications and associated end-users, vendors, services, contracts, etc. Then, West Highland builds a plan based upon what was identified in our assessment and defines exactly how to execute these actions and tasks. Once the assessment and reporting phase is complete, the client can take over and manage the implementation on their own or choose to utilize West Highland to fully execute the plan. West Highland recommends a plan whereas the GHMD also is engaged on a quarterly basis for periodic evaluation to make certain the plan continues to evolve. As part of this service, West Highland is also present for any audit exercise and defense strategies that the client may be involved in.
West Highland works with clients to create their market data vision. The vision starts with the current environment, a future goal and then a game plan for achieving that goal. The process either begins with an end-to-end assessment which leads to either a cost optimization exercise or a transformation initiative to migrate towards a more appropriate platform.
In any type of market data environment, contracts, termination dates, rules, and licenses, are key factors that need to be taken into consideration to establish any type of a transformation plan.
As part of the Executive Concierge Services, West Highland offers the clients the ability to outsource the commercial management of market data, contracts, audits, assessments, evaluations, and inventory which are bundled into a platform. Models are presented that are appropriate for the size of the firm and number of contracts managed.
West Highland offers clients an analysis and review of its position with regard to being compliant with its exchange contracts. Usage of things like display vs. non-display charges is assessed. It is important the client understands the contracts, the terms, conditions, guidelines, rules, and interpretations. Key elements of the analysis ensure proper recording of contract expiration dates, derived data rules, redistribution, contribution, and alternative data sourcing. West Highland confirms that the client also knows how to effectively implement those rules and permissions.
The increasing cost of market data along with the need to do things better for less has driven the need to conduct Optimization and Transformation initiatives.
With optimization, West Highland strives to make the market data environment more efficient, reduce expenses, reduce redundancies, make the environment leaner, and easier to manage. In the case of transformation, West Highland is planning to move the current environment to a next generation that could encompass new technologies, different data vendor /service mixup, cloud services, etc. West Highland’s focus is to make the environment more efficient, provide the best “fit for purpose” platforms tied to the business that the client is in and a more efficient way of managing market data.
Platform evaluation is a main area within the Executive Concierge Services. West Highland assesses the client’s applications, evaluates platforms, analyzes the data and identifies redundancies which should be eliminated.
By identifying the type of data currently in use, the markets served, and licensing, West Highland can provide direction on future data choices and sources. West Highland also provides guidance on the application of the data and the contractual terms for licensing.
As part of the assessment process, West Highland reviews a client environment from its technology to its consumption. We evaluate costs, license terms, sourcing data, and real-time data, infrastructure, feeds, etc. West Highland searches for unnecessary redundancies and misaligned fees.
The amount of data being consumed is also analyzed to evaluate the potential to reduce the total consumption and provide another opportunity to improve the current cost position.
An Exchange audit is frequently triggered by improper reporting, honest mistakes, and a misunderstanding of contract rules and regulations, which are ever changing.
Reporting oversights are an easy way for vendors to levy fines. The exchanges have been increasing the amount of audit activity and have engaged 3rd parties to assist them. They have routinely targeted client organizations that lack a Global Head of market data and a commercial management team. As a result, client firms typically follow the directions of the auditors and unnecessarily surrender monies.
West Highland’s Audit Service program provides a Market Data Concierge expert to manage audits launched by the Exchanges. We conduct an initial self-assessment and identify any findings as well as define strategies to remediate any issues. We review the Exchange audit findings and establish a proper audit defense process to resolve and reduce any documented finding. It is highly recommended that West Highland assists you in your audits as we have a proven track record of success.
We have a responsibility to our company and our clients to be innovative and to identify issues that are there before a client even realizes that there are issues.”
STEVEN R. ROE
CEO, West Highland