European stock exchanges together with Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, the LSE and Nyse Euronext have agreed a framework for developing a consolidated tape of post-trade equity reporting data across Europe.
The exchanges - represented by the Federation of European Stock Exchanges - and data vendors say the pact to develop common standards should restore post-trade transparency in the European equity market and head off the prospect of regulatory intervention.
The group say they will draw on the work of the European Securities Markets Authority for over-the-counter (OTC) reporting to deliver a set of standards that will enable trade data resulting from executions on regulated markets and MTFs to be easily consolidated with OTC trade reports.
With execution venues representing over 90% of all European equity order book trading committed to the effort, the initiative stands a good chance of at last providing investors with a pan-European view of the fragmented post-Mifid trading landscape.
The completion of the detailed specifications and definitions is expected to be fully implemented by the end of 2011.
Hans-Ole Jochumsen, president of FESE, says: "Greater access to consolidated data will allow investors to perform transaction cost analysis and accurately calculate benchmarks so they can monitor best execution. Our goal is to unleash the competitive forces that will keep the costs of consolidation as low as possible, as we are decreasing the level of complexity of market data and hence the cost of consolidated data."
Crucially, the initiative will unite a number of disparate solo projects under a common banner.
Mark Schaedel, head of global data products for Nyse Euronext - which announced a go-it alone project in October - welcomes the move: "We are investing considerable energy and time into this project because we believe that standards are the key to addressing investors transparency needs and enabling broad market participation."
Rhodri Preece, director of capital markets policy, CFA Institute, gives the buy-side perspective: "Investors need consolidated tapes of record implemented as quickly and efficiently as possible to address the transparency deficiencies in the market. The initiative taken by FESE demonstrates that the industry is taking this issue seriously and is not waiting around for a regulatory mandate. This is a commendable effort."