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Seven Things to Look for from Your Benchmark Provider

Companies and Markets

By David Mellars  |  December 10, 2020

As the equity, fixed-income, and multi-asset class markets continue to grow in complexity, you may be seeking a benchmark solution that can meet your firm’s needs while preventing disruption to your workflow. Below are a few things to look for while evaluating your options.

Breadth of Coverage

Ensure you have seamless access to all benchmarks necessary for day-to-day activities and monthly reporting. Seek out a solution with turn-key integration with benchmarks from Bloomberg Barclays, ICE BofA, JP Morgan, FTSE Russell, MSCI, S&P, global exchanges, and more so you can easily access a complete depth of history at both the index and constituent levels.

Quality Assurance

Look for a partner that will help you cut out the burden of manually integrating benchmark data and analytics from multiple families in a way that’s scalable and dependable, so all members of your investment team receive the highest data integrity and quality reporting. A reliable partner will provide around-the-clock service that helps you:

  • Monitor database updates
  • Check vendor file quality, including confirming that files are delivered on time, in the correct format, and with expected identifiers
  • Verify vendor data integrity at the constituent and index levels
  • Identify, communicate, and resolve any detected issues

Consolidated Sourcing

Don’t get caught trying to manage data from disparate sources. A strong provider will offer data that is formatted consistently across benchmarks, making delivery dependable, and consumption straightforward, reducing your total cost of ownership. Look for a provider that delivers services such as:

  • Symbol concordance
  • Corporate actions handling
  • Security reference data

Classification Data

Consistent and custom classifications across your portfolios and benchmarks make data easier to digest and reports easier to understand. Make sure your provider offers a broad range of classification data as well as the ability to customize your sector designations as needed.

Consistent Analytics

Ensure you’re able to display official benchmark analytics as well as perform apples-to-apples analysis across benchmarks and portfolios for consistency in analytics and decision-making.

Transparency

Look for a provider that offers the necessary tools and services to help you manage your benchmark data needs. An experienced provider will have tools to lessen the burden of managing the end-to-end data integration process and seek to increase the level of transparency.

Custom Benchmark Capabilities

Seek out a provider that empowers you to build custom and blended benchmarks using index- and company-level information from multiple families and asset classes. Make sure you’re able to slice and dice the data based on your specifications and create custom calculations that move beyond the standard share data. A strong custom benchmark utility will allow you to:

  • Automate the creation and maintenance of client-custom composites
  • Choose a base currency and use currency-hedged benchmarks
  • Tailor caps and exclusions to meet your specific investment directives
  • Track and report changes to your benchmark over time
  • Automate benchmark rebalancing
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Andrew Manickas, Vice President, Product Strategist, Analytics & Trading, also contributed to this article.

consolidated vetted global benchmark data

David Mellars

Senior Director, Core Analytics

Mr. David Mellars is Senior Director of Core Analytics at FactSet. In this role, he is responsible for guiding strategy and development for FactSet’s fixed-income analytics. Prior, he was a Vice President, Senior Sales Specialist working with insurance firms and other fixed-income clients. Mr. Mellars earned a B.A. in Economics from Washington and Lee University.

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