Bloomberg smashes proprietary identifier market

Bloomberg smashes proprietary identifier market

Market data vendor Bloomberg is looking to create an open standard for financial instrument identifiers by making its own proprietary symbology available for free to developers and market practitioners.

The vendor - which has built its business by maintaining tight control over its proprietary data feeds - has created a Website where industry participants can search for and access identifiers developed for the Bloomberg Professional terminal and enterprise data products.

The Website, at, offers a repository for Bloomberg Symbology codes at no charge to users, with no material impediments on use. The vendor promises global coverage across all asset classes and "freedom and flexibility in application development".

Financial instrument identifiers are necessary for a wide array of essential functions in the front and back office. Typically, organisations that administer symbologies - such as Reuters' RIC codes, Markit's RED database and S&P-administered Cusip datasets - assert proprietary rights over their identifiers, impose significant limitations on their use and either charge users license fees or include their symbology licenses with the purchase of related products.

By making its identifiers available for free, Bloomberg is driving a horse and cart through this established market model and laying down the gauntlet for other competitors to follow.

Comments: (1)

Gary Wright
Gary Wright 04 November, 2009, 11:01Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This has to be a welcom move by Bloomberg and should shake this stagnant practice out of the hole its been stuck in for decades. However if all code issuers do the same thing we will be left with so many multiple identifiers that it will be a cause of cost and confusion. Surely once these firms realise that there is no point controlling identifiers to lock in customers now that Bloomberg has blown the door open they will work towards standardisation