The Investment Roadmap, a guide created through a collaboration between the world’s leading messaging standards, to provide consistent and clear direction on messaging standards usage was released in May 2008. A year later, FPL’s Operations Director, Courtney Doyle asked the authors of the roadmap for their assessment of its impact on the industry and how they saw its future evolution.
Courtney Doyle: What was the motivation and purpose behind this Investment Roadmap collaboration?
Genevy Dimitrion (ISITC Chair): Today, Market Practice and Standards are inextricably linked and yet for all our efforts, Market Practice exists as a mere documented recommendation. However, we see convergence between the two areas to the point where market practice can be encapsulated directly into the standards themselves. The roadmap has a role to play in this evolution, and we see it as critical for the next generation of standards. It also helps to provide future users direction on which messaging standards should be used throughout the trade lifecycle.
Jamie Shay (Head of SWIFT Standards): Our involvement was driven by clear market demand from our customers. They needed clarity about which syntax to use in which space and, more importantly, they wanted a way to make these standards interoperable. SWIFT and FIX have been working together for a number of years towards a single business model in ISO 20022. The decision to work together on an Investment Roadmap was a natural progression. It provides clear direction with regard to messaging standards usage as it visually “maps” industry standards protocols, FIX, ISO and FpML, to the appropriate asset class and underlying business processes.
Karel Engelen (Director and Global Head Technology Solutions, ISDA): Similar to SWIFT, ISDA felt it was important to map out the coverage of each of the different standards so people could get a complete view of the industry standards at a glance. We also thought it would be a useful tool for determining where we had duplication of effort or functional gaps to complete.
Scott Atwell (FPL Global Steering Committee Co-Chair): As the others have pointed out, we needed to provide greater clarity as to how the various standards ‘fit together’. We sought an approach that recognizes, leverages, and includes the financial industry standards without reinventing and creating redundant messages that generate cost and confusion for the industry. The effort was named ‘Investment Roadmap’ as its founding purpose was to aid industry firms’ technology investment decision making.
Courtney Doyle: The roadmap was released over a year ago. Is the community referring to it and using it as a guide on how to invest in standards? How should firms use it and what does it mean for them?
Scott Atwell: FPL has found the roadmap useful as a tool for standards investment. However, the roadmap benefits are multifaceted. It has driven an even greater level of collaboration and cooperation amongst our standards organizations. Discussing it often serves as a ‘conversation starter’ that leads to healthy discussion and debate. It has also served to facilitate key changes to the ISO 20022 process such as the ability for FIX to feed the ISO 20022 business model and to be the recognized syntax for the Pre-Trade/Trade model.
Genevy Dimitrion: ISITC consistently refers to the roadmap when presenting to our members as the guidelines on message standards to be used within the trade lifecycle. It has become an extremely helpful tool for our members in understanding the key standards available and how and when they should be used.
Lisa Taikitsadaporn, FPL Global Fixed Income Technical Sub-committee Co-Chair; Managing Partner, Brook Path Partners, Inc. and Hanno Klein, FPL Global Technical Committee Co-Chair; Senior Project Manager, Deutsche Börse Group talk about the Securities Investment Roadmap and the Standards Coordination Group.
For the first time, there is actual proof of the long promised commitment from standards bodies and the industry to work together under the ISO 20022 umbrella. The Standards Coordination Group, the guardian of the recently updated Securities Investment Roadmap, is steering this collaboration. It is becoming the voice of open standards, promoting it up to law makers and regulators in Washington DC and Brussels.
Because the financial community is a vast one, encompassing institutions across the globe that deal with diverse asset classes at different points in the securities trading life cycle, different organizations have traditionally been responsible for developing their own messaging schemes. Today, financial firms often combine a great range of trading activities; therefore, the messaging standards from different organizations often intersect, but remain incompatible.
Within the financial services industry, there are multiple standards being used, hence the desire to ensure some level of interoperability. It is clear to many market participants that the FIX Protocol is the de facto standard for pre-trade and trade, that FpML is the de facto standard for OTC Derivatives, that ISO is the de facto standard for settlement and payments, and that XBRL is the de facto standard for business reporting. The Industry would benefit from an approach that leverages and includes these standards into a broader framework without reinventing and creating redundant messages that increase implementation costs and cause confusion for the industry.
The Standards Coordination Group began collaborating on the Securities Investment Roadmap in 2006, publishing the first version of the Roadmap in 2008 and the latest version in October 2010. The Investment Roadmap provides market participants with consistent direction when using financial services messaging standards by visually mapping the protocols to their appropriate business processes across asset classes and it also lays the groundwork for moving towards a common business model, ISO 20022, for the securities industry.