Market data vendor of the year: ICE Data Services

Asia Risk Awards 2022

Financial firms need a market data provider that offers end-to-end solutions for information, analytics, index services, connectivity and data tools for global markets across asset classes.

ICE Data Services is in a unique position as a market data provider, as well as an exchange. Today it serves some of Asia’s biggest banks, insurers, asset managers and pension funds. In the region, it has a presence in key markets such as Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

Its expertise in the markets, clearing houses and data business positions ICE to deliver more mission-critical data and analytics solutions. One example is how it builds indices based on EU Allowance carbon futures contracts traded on its exchanges, enabling exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuers to create products and giving Asian investors access to global carbon markets.

Another way it expands is by acquiring leading data vendors in their asset classes. For example, after acquiring NYSE in 2013, ICE acquired SuperDerivatives in 2014, a top data vendor in the OTC derivatives space. Then, in 2015, it acquired Interactive Data Corporation, a reference data and fixed-income pricing provider. This was followed by S&P Global’s securities evaluation and credit market analysis businesses in 2016. ICE also acquired Bank of America Merrill Lynch global research division’s fixed-income index platform and Kalotay Analytics in 2021. Then, RisQ and Level 11 Analytics were added to expand Ice’s climate change and alternative data capabilities.

Magnus Cattan, vice-president for fixed income and data services for Asia-Pacific at ICE, explains that these acquisitions have allowed ICE to become a full-service multi-asset class data provider.

“Also, these acquisitions brought with them high-value unique proprietary content to our data library, which really differentiates ourselves to other vendors. We have recently acquired businesses in the ESG (environmental, social and governance) space and innovate our product offering to meet clients’ current and future requirements,” he says.

In July 2022, ICE acquired Urgentem, a provider specialising in global corporate emissions and climate transition solutions. Cattan says this acquisition expanded Ice’s climate risk offering to include coverage of global public and private companies across new geographies and added scenario risk analysis and stress-testing for fund managers and banks.

ICE is also innovating in how it delivers data to clients. It recently launched the Cloud Connect programme, which enabled the ICE Global Network, which connects the global market community to a range of data and trading venues, to reach market participants in the cloud and more than 700 locations across the globe.

Cattan says Cloud Connect enables clients to access Ice’s cross-asset, low-latency, real-time market data via any major public cloud provider. Cloud Connect also reduces clients’ total cost of ownership by lowering the connectivity cost of receiving market data. Clients don’t need to install separate physical leased lines and, instead, real-time data is routed into clients’ cloud environments using Cloud Connect’s existing connections to clients’ cloud environments.

ICE also developed the ICE DataVault (IDV), an AWS cloud-based platform that allows users to access large amounts of historical tick data from the ICE Consolidated Feed with history going back more than 10 years. It covers more than 25 million instruments from over 600 sources across multi-asset classes, including equities, derivatives, fixed income, FX, money markets, commodities, energy and ETFs.

Cattan says its cloud-native feature provides customers with a cost-effective way to access large volumes of datasets in the cloud without incurring high transmission costs. “We see an increasing number of use cases that our clients in the cloud transmit; hundreds of terabytes of data from IDV to their S3 bucket for back-testing and historical analysis purposes,” he says.

ICE also recently launched ICE Shared Farm, a multi-tenant and fully managed data feed access centre in Taiwan. The service gives customers a ‘managed’ experience using Ice’s hosted and managed environments.

“It removes the need for dedicated market data infrastructure and equipment and allows customers to easily ‘connect in’ to receive low-latency, real-time market data via cross-connects or local leased lines, which may significantly reduce connectivity costs,” he says.

ICE is supportive of cloud technologies and is working with all the major cloud providers to ensure their clients can access Ice’s data through the cloud seamlessly and effortlessly. Cattan says it’s a transition to the cloud for many firms, and ICE is working with the cloud providers to make it as easy as possible for the end clients. “We are also constantly on the lookout for new datasets and applications in the cloud that can be supported by ICE data,” he says.

Looking ahead, Cattan sees ESG as a data need that is quickly evolving. As a result, it is constantly expanding its offering to meet the increased demands of its clients. Climate risk is another area of focus, and its recent acquisitions will help clients navigate the space.

There is also a push into algorithmic trading and electronic execution in Asia. “Traders in Asia increasingly need information to help with pre-trade transparency and post-trade analysis. ICE is working to meet clients’ needs by engaging with 37 market participants across different locations and firm types to understand the trends and challenges in this space,” Cattan says.

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