Markit and Genpact say that they have signed over 600 buy side firms and corporations for their KYC data sharing portal and named former Goldman Sachs man John May as chief executive of the utility.
The service, which went live in May, is designed to streamline the management of know your customer (KYC) information required by banks. Markit says The 600+ firms now registered with the portal represent over 16,000 funds and entities, include BlueBay Asset Management, GoldenTree Asset Management and Pictet Asset Management.
Spencer Woodward, co-head of operations at BlueBay Asset Management, says: “Centralising the management of KYC information makes it faster and easier for us to do business with banks and vice versa. With the documentation stored centrally, the banks we trade with have access to the complete customer profile they need so we can trade efficiently.”
Buy side firms can sign up for free to load their documentation. Markit has not revealed how many banks have subscribed to use the utility, which began accepting queries in August.
In appointing John May as CEO, Markit is hoping to tap into his experience from Goldman Sachs, where he was a managing director and global head of client onboarding as well as head of securities operations and operations data quality management in India. He joins the unit in January 2015 and will be based in London.
Says May: “The opportunity to lead the service created by Markit and Genpact is exciting. Transforming how KYC and other data required by regulators are managed is a priority across the industry and Markit | Genpact have built a robust service that is already delivering value to subscribers."
The new utility is jostling for business with competing offerings from Swift, Swiss-based KYC Exchange, and Thomson Reuters.
Reflecting the intense competition in the emerging business space, Swift in September promised free access to its forthcoming KYC Registry throughout 2015 to banks that contribute their own data to the service. So far 12 major banks, including Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Citi and HSBC, are already adding their data as part of a working group, with several more firms signing up as early adopters.