Stephan Wolf, GLEIF
Basel - The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), the body responsible for ensuring the operational integrity of the Global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) System, and five 'first mover' LEI issuing organizations have concluded a prototype exercise to test the end-to-end process of collecting and validating data on the direct and ultimate parents of legal entities that have an LEI.
GLEIF will start publishing parent information in early 2017. Including this information in the publicly available LEI data pool will allow connecting the corporate dots globally with LEI data.
The LEI issuers that participated in the prototype exercise, which was completed on 7 December 2016, are: Bundesanzeiger Verlag, Business Entity Data (DTCC's GMEI Utility), London Stock Exchange Plc, Saudi Arabia Credit Bureau and Unione Italiana per le Camere di Commercio, Industria, Artigianato e Agricultura. LEI issuing organizations act as the primary interface for legal entities that have registered, or wish to obtain, an LEI.
The LEI connects to a set of reference data that enables identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions. The information available with the legal entity reference data, to date, e.g. the official name of a legal entity and its registered address, provides the answer to the question of 'who is who'. In a next step, the LEI data pool will include the information that will answer the question of 'who owns whom'.
With the prototype exercise, all aspects of the process, developed to collect, validate and eventually publish information on direct and ultimate parents of legal entities, were tested successfully. The participating LEI issuers worked with selected actual legal entities that have obtained an LEI to collect the parent information. The LEI issuers received accounting documents from the legal entities to validate the information and created data records using technical documentation developed by GLEIF. In addition, the participating LEI issuers uploaded the data records via an interface provided by GLEIF, using an encrypted transfer protocol, and electronically signed the files to ensure authenticity.
GLEIF performed checks to verify compliance of the sample files created by the LEI issuers with relevant technical documentation and business rules. The prototype exercise confirmed that a proven and robust process is now in place that facilitates the inclusion of parent information in the publicly available LEI data pool going forward.
In early 2017, GLEIF will start publishing, as a first step, data on direct and ultimate parents collected by the LEI issuing organizations participating in the prototype exercise. In a phased approach, parent information for legal entities that have obtained, or wish to get, an LEI will be added to the LEI data pool. It is expected that parent information for the majority of the LEI population will be available at the latest at the start of 2018.
GLEIF CEO, Stephan Wolf, comments: "The 2008 financial crisis, and more recently, the leak of the Panama papers, has made apparent the importance of increasing transparency in the financial markets. Once parent information for the entire LEI population is available, GLEIF will provide a unique and free data source that allows corporate dots to be connected globally based on open, standardized and high quality LEI data."