Richard Robinson with Bloomberg

Industrial Talk is onsite at OMG, Q1 Meeting and talking to Richard Robinson, Chief Strategist and Author with Bloomberg LP about “Open Data and Standards Development for All”.

Scott MacKenzie and Richard discuss the importance of standardizing financial data modeling to improve data quality, with Richard highlighting the challenges of keeping track of multiple identifiers for financial instruments issued by the same company. They also discuss the adoption and governance of financial data standards, with Scott MacKenzie highlighting the high demand for FIGI data and the importance of open source licensing for good governance. Richard Robinson and Scott MacKenzie then engage in a conversation about the significance of standards in the digital age, with Richard emphasizing the need for standards to ensure interoperability and facilitate innovation, while Scott expresses his amazement at the complexity of standards and their impact on everyday life.

Action Items

  • [ ] Continue work on further revisions and enhancements to the FIGI standard.
  • [ ] Provide contact details to listeners interested in learning more about FIGI.
  • [ ] Publish Richard's contact information on the Industrial Talk platform for connections.


Open data standards for financial instruments, including FIGI and LSI legal entity identifier.

  • Scott MacKenzie welcomes Richard Robinson to the podcast, praising his work with OMG and Bloomberg.
  • Richard Robinson shares his experience with OMG, including his role as Chair of the Financial Services DTF.
  • Richard (Bloomberg) explains how FIGI (open data standard) addresses issue of multiple identifiers for financial instruments, making them more accessible and transparent.
  • Richard discusses how Bloomberg's FIGI identifier is free and open data, unlike other identifiers that require payment, and how it can help commoditize financial data.

Standardizing financial data modeling using FIGI1.0.

  • Richard discusses the evolution of the Financial Industry Business Ontology (FIBO) standard from a proprietary model to an open standard through the Object Management Group.
  • Richard explains how FIGI assigns unique identifiers to financial instruments, such as IBM common stock, to enhance data quality and provide an open way to access the data.
  • Richard worked with financial services companies to address the same problem of maintaining internal databases and systems to keep data quality consistent, and FIGI helps enhance that effort.

Adoption and governance of a standard for financial data.

  • The FIGI standard is being widely adopted with 14 billion API requests per month globally.
  • Keiko, a firm in France, became a certified provider for cryptocurrencies after accreditation.
  • Speaker discusses importance of proper identification and transparency in financial industry.

Standards and regulations in various industries.

  • Richard discusses importance of standards in various industries, including construction and technology.
  • Richard Robinson discusses the importance of standards in data wrangling at OMG Q1 meeting.

If interested in being on the Industrial Talk show, simply contact us and let's have a quick conversation.

Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Marketing Process Course” for Greater Success in 2024. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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FIGI, standards, bloomberg, data, identifiers, ticker, open, omg, traded, object management group, richard, global, figures, industrial, organization, people, bitcoin, symbology, conversation, provider


Welcome to the Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go. Right once again, thank you very much for joining Industrial Talk the number one industrial related podcast in the universe that celebrates industry professionals all around the world. You are bold, brave, you dare greatly you innovate, you collaborate, you solve problems. You do this because you have a big heart. And that's why we celebrate you. You're changing the world. As we speak. Thank you very much for what you do be proud of that. I'm so thankful that you support this ever expanding industrial ecosystem. Thank you. All right. We are broadcasting from OMGs q1 meeting. It is in Reston, Virginia. And it is a collection of people that are just passionate about solving challenges, today's challenges, this is working and happening. It's happening fast. And these individuals here at this particular event, are passionate about solving those problems. In the hot seat. We have a gentleman by the name of Richard Robinson. Bloomberg is the organization the company and it is going to be acronyms central here. So we're gonna have a bunch of acronyms. So just hold on, I'll make sure that we've clarified so let's get cracking.


Alright, Richard, thank you. Thank you for having me. It's been cool. Yeah.


How long have you been part of OMG?


Me personally, it since I joined Bloomberg about nine years ago. No, no kidding. So yeah, more active in the past? Two, three years. What do you what do you work? I mean, what do you engage in? What? What Consortium? What what? I can never keep


up to you. So I'm actually Chair of the Financial Services DTF DTF. Domain taskforce


financial services. Obviously, Bloomberg is related to that a little bit smaller data company, Midge? Yeah.


Before we get into the conversation, a little bit about FIGI, and Ligi, and FTDA, and whatever. And whatever else you could throw at me, give us a little background on who you are. So I'm chief strategist for open symbology at Bloomberg. So that opens symbology symbology. So that's a fancy word for data and data models and all the fun things around data, right? It's not just, it's not just the data. It's the data model that surrounds it, and the symbols and the identifiers you use to classify things.


symbology it's pretty, it's


all right. He wins the name symbology.


This weekend? All right. All right. Let's talk a little bit about your involvement here at OMG. What you're doing in the organization? And then specifically around the I want to say FIGI, did I get that right? Standards? Take us through that. So as part of my job, for strategy, I look at the open data that Bloomberg supports, and Bloomberg does support two open data standards. One is the FIGI. One is the LSI legal entity identifier. Fig is a object manager group standard. Since probably about 2014. Bloomberg had come up with it back in 2010, let's say. And what it is, is it's a data model for describing financial instruments. Now, there's tons of identifiers out there from tickers to other identifiers for different national countries and whatnot. So like IBM common stock, yeah, trading on New York Stock Exchange, you have IBM is the ticker AAPL ticker for Apple. But that might not necessarily be the same ticker that's used in Germany or the UK, and then each national country, each nation has its own national numbers for all different purposes. And


it's just a wash in all these different identifiers. So one would say, Why do you need another identifier? Because one thing is that they don't all relate to each other. So you have a many to one relationship between a lot of these identifiers, and there's no model that brings them all together. So Bloomberg did back in 2010 was trying to tackle this problem, especially for an internal perspective, right? Yes, we manage data, we have to manage it properly. So he had come out with this Bloomberg global identifier, and from the outset said that this is gonna be free and open data because a lot of identifiers that you have today, basically all of them except FIGI. You have to pay for it.


So if you want to database it, you want to resend it redistributed, you actually have to pay a fee to the person who owns that. Right, right. So from the outset, Bloomberg saw identifying IBM common stock and New York Stock Exchange is commoditized item, it should be free and transparent. I know I can access and I you know, right. But if you go over 500 uses of it or whatever the licensing requires, you'll start getting


calls from folks to pay for it. Yeah, so that was the outset.


Because it Bloomberg, people were a little probably, they're saying, You need to standardize this and give the governance over somewhere. So looking at the Object Management Group, and a great organization that this is, and their basis that everything they do is open. And they're highly technical. We thought bringing, what we built to the Object Management Group would be a good path. So we came to them, submitted it as a as request for proposal for creating specification went into the domain Task Force and the standards process here. And over the, I think it took two years, 18 months to two years to become a standard. It was written an Object Management Group, and it was published as FIGI 1.0. And and you since since then,


where do you see it going? I mean, there you got the one dot O, Biggie, one dot o as a standard.


It's not a static type of thing. It's it's dynamic, I would imagine. And and how are things changing within the financial world where this particular standard will change as well? Yeah, the important thing about being a data model is


if you look at that, we'll use IBM as an example. Again, it's traded in New York Stock Exchange, that's where it's primary listed. But there's also 20 exchanges in the US where it's also listed, so they have their own tickers. Then it's also traded in Germany and five exchanges. They're in Euro. It's also traded, traded in London Stock Exchange in British pounds, and probably over 200 trading venues that have IBM common stock listed on it in, let's say, 15, to 20 different currencies.


How do you keep track of that? I don't know. For all the countries, they have one national number. So London, London, in the UK, they settle via acetal. In the US, they settle for us via CUSIP.


They validate numbers and all these other national IDs for the local settling location. So Tory trust companies in the US. So there's 20 tickers become one number that sells at the local local depository. So now you have to match that up. And then there's a global ID isin. That all the is just one of those. So if one person is using one ID and another person's use another ID, how do you know where it's traded? So if you bought it in the US, but you use a nice number, the or you bought it in Germany use nice number to identify it.


How do you know that it's actually certainly in Germany versus the US. So what figure does is assign an ID at every level. So it figures that correspond to every single ticker, maybe figures that correspond to every national number. And then we have a figure at the top of the global identifier in the metadata. And this is the part about being a data model in the metadata of the exchange level ticker, and that change level FIGI. We had the figures of its parent for the US and its parent for Germany. And we also have the ultimate parent. So you can actually model and roll all this stuff up together and aggregate it and through the open data. And it's free and open. You can actually associate all these different identifiers together. And we include the descriptive information about it to so it's IBM common stock, it's listed here.


Did you have to in this effort with with OMG.


Work with all these other


trading organizations to get them to agree. Not the not the data providers, but the we had financial services companies that have that same problem. So I have 30 years in the industry right before I joined Bloomberg, I was at global banks and brokers and whatnot.


And every single company I worked at, had its own internal database master that


associated all this stuff together and they


Have a whole raft of people and systems met just to keep the data quality between all this stuff. So what FICKY does is help enhance that and provide a better data quality for everybody and in an open way so that everybody can use it. So if you don't have it, you can actually come into open website. And either manually or using a open API, access that data.






is it


says subtract one to one, because it's you know, it's a lot. I want to I want to fire those dice. Yeah. But no, it's okay. Has there been? I mean,


is it still being adopted? I mean, yeah. So. So progress through entrepreneurial group, we actually just did a revision 1.1 and revision four 1.2.


I'll relate this back. So in terms of adoption,


we have what 12 Probably 14 billion requests on the website for FIGI data per month.


And that's really, yeah. billion billion, billion API requests for manual searches. No kidding. Yeah. So and it's global. So this is traffic, both from the US South America, Europe, global Africa, all the AsiaPac. Yeah.


So it is being adopted, it is being adopted based off of the traffic that you're based off of that traffic, an additional thing that we recently did, and that's why we're in revision 1.2. Is we added digital assets. cryptocurrencies, yeah. So bringing up another point going down, then the important thing about the standard as well is that the governance was created within the specification.


Also, within specification for good governance is the reason it's open is the MIT open license, open source license is embedded within the standard itself. So it's not something that anybody can just rip out and just say, we're gonna start charging for it. Right. So because the open source license is embedded within the standard, someone within OMG has to go through version, if they ever wanted to try and remove that, I doubt that would be successful at all right? So within the governance section, and that's an important part of becoming a specification here is the governance that allows there's two types. There's Registration Authority, and there's certified provider. So the Registration Authority and certify provider both,


you have to apply and be accredited through the financial services domain Task Force. Registration Authority is responsible for managing the standard and ensuring data quality and all that kind of thing. The Certified providers are the ones that can issue it.


Up until about three years ago, Bloomberg was the only certified provider and were the registration authority. But the cryptocurrency


there's a firm in France called Keiko, that came along and their cryptocurrency data provider, their data aggregator, and they were having the same problem of all these different ideas in the cryptocurrency space, because you have binance, you have Gemini Coinbase, all these different changes. And then


do you do BT X or BTC for Bitcoin? And so all different kinds of tickers, everything else and they were trying to aggregate this stuff together as well. So they came to us and said, Well, what if we did Figgis for cryptocurrencies? So Keiko came in to the archipelagic group went through the accreditation process and became a certified provider for cryptocurrencies. And probably about two years ago started issuing cryptocurrency Figgis in a data model aspect too. So there's a fee for like, Bitcoin and FIGI for Aetherium. Then there's another one for Bitcoin Aetherium cross and a different one for Aetherium Bitcoin.


And then you have you just have different machines. What did you have this conversation with your wife? Because I guarantee


I'm not sure my way. Well, I know my wife doesn't really know what I do. She was she was excited that I joined Bloomberg, because when people ask what I do, she can finally say, Oh, he works for Bloomberg. And then people don't ask.


My kids get it. Yeah, my kids are tired of listening to me. But this is really important. It is like it's plumbing. But it's foundational level stuff. Because what runs financial industry runs every industry is


as being able to trade something with somebody, yeah. If you can't properly identify it, and do it in a transparent way. Yeah. Then, you know, that sort of grounds everything Oh, hos blockchain ish, right. Yeah. But then also, in regards to acceptance, if you look at


since we've gained Well, we also object manager group works with other standards organizations, like the US national accreditation, the accredited National Standards Institute, or the American National Standards Institute. Hanzi, has x nine, which is the Financial Services Division, so on GE has relationship with them, and they submit the figures standard to x nine to get national accreditation status within the US. We did that in Brazil as well.


So what happened is right after we got that, we started getting included in consultations from regulators as well. Because for transparency purposes, being able to use open data within regulatory reporting, increases transparency for not just the big guys who can afford to pay fees and everything else, but also for your small and medium enterprises. Individuals who are looking at reports, financial advisors, or anybody else, and they can do it. Now the government can redistribute that information, and the recorded information is free and open and transparent. So you can look up the information.


Where do you see it going? This whole standards? I mean, it's changing just just from our mall conversation, it just, it's dynamic. Where do you see it going? What's what's sort of the you've already touched upon the Bitcoin? What what do you see going a standard, very esoteric space, be great if more people were participating in standards.


And there's a lot of standards organizations out there.


But that's a bad thing. And I don't think it's a bad thing. There's a lot of different standards as well, because standards should be for particular use. And let's look at, you know, screws, screws and nails.


We go to the hardware store, we pick up whatever we need. Yeah, look at the price, right, that's cheap, I got it. But if you're in construction, you know that using a particular type is important. If you're doing what to wood or metal to wood,


what kind of environment it's going to be in. The screw heads are different because of different load factors. Everything else? I don't know anything about


that. That's why I mean, there's different standards for those reasons. And just like there's different information standards for different purposes and reasons.


I gotta tell you, man, you've blown my mind.


Other people who there's,


they're saying, I still want to know more about FIGI. How do people get a hold of you? Are you out on LinkedIn? I'm in LinkedIn. Yes. So Richard Robinson, Bloomberg, they'll probably bring you right to




What's a quick conversation? And you know, what's interesting about it is the fact that, that


we take it for granted. I don't see it. I mean, we just live life, but the men and the masses just live life. And we just don't recognize the fact that there's a lot of a lot of things happening under underneath that we just take for granted. Like, oh, you know,


whatever. It's just it's the standards are so important. Yeah. And that's why the SEC has started including figuring regulation. Yeah, see?


You're a rockstar.


All right, listeners, we're gonna have all the contact information for Richard out on Industrial Talk. So if you're not, you will be able to connect with him out on industrial chalk. We are broadcasting from OMG Q one meeting here in Reston, Virginia. It is again, a collection of people like Richard who are just passionate about solving challenges of today's market. So thank you very much for joining. We will be right back. You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.


Richard Robinson is his name Bloomberg is the organization that was OMGs q1 meeting in Reston, Virginia, and there's gold in that data. And because there's gold, there's gonna be standards. There's got to be standards. That's what that's what OMG that's what Richard is working on. Right standards associated and wrapped around. Then open standards. All right. Everybody can benefit from all of this data's data is important. We gotta we got to figure out how to wrangle that horse. All right. We're building a platform as I always say, Industrial Talk is here for you. It does real talk if you have a if you have a podcast that you want greater


Attention. Think about putting it on Industrial Talks platform. That's what we're all about. Getting that information, getting that message out, educating, collaborating, and of course, innovating, and that comes with conversation. So be bold, be brave, dare greatly hang out with Richard, change the world. We're gonna have another great conversation shortly so stay tuned.

Industrial Talk is onsite at OMG, Q1 Meeting and talking to Richard Robinson, Chief Strategist and Author with Bloomberg LP about "Open Data and Standards Development for All". Scott MacKenzie and Richard discuss the importance of standardizing financial data modeling to improve data quality, with Richard highlighting the challenges of keeping track of multiple identifiers for the same company across different countries and exchanges. They also discuss the adoption and governance of financial data standards, with Scott MacKenzie highlighting the high demand for FIGI data and the importance of open source licensing for good governance. Richard Robinson and Scott MacKenzie then engage in a conversation about the significance of standards in the digital age, with Richard emphasizing the need for standards to ensure interoperability and facilitate innovation, while Scott expresses his amazement at the complexity of standards and their impact on everyday life.
Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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