RIXML.org Releases Version 2.0 of Interactions Standard for Comment Period


Last Friday, RIXML.org, an industry association focused on electronic research distribution, released version 2.0 of its standards for capturing research-related interactions between the sell-side, buy-side, and vendor community.  These open standards are now available for comment by all market participants, whether a RIXML.org member or not.

Interactions Standard Version 2.0

The latest version 2.0 was developed by the RIXML Interactions Working Group that brought buy-side, sell-side, and vendor firms together to create an open standard for capturing research related interactions required under MiFID II. The key objective was to develop an open standard to capture details of interactions, including interaction types, participant types, host and participant details, and location.  The new standard will be able to capture a wide range of interaction types, from one-off meetings to ongoing data feeds.

Version 2.0 of the Interactions Standard will be a major update, incorporating market feedback received after the initial release of the standard in late 2017. The new version will leverage the RIXML Common schema file, which houses tags and tag sets used in the other RIXML standards, as well as the RIXML Data Types schema file, which contains the values for the enumeration lists used throughout the RIXML Standards Suite.

Sal Restivo, Chair of the RIXML Standards Committee, explains that “This update was a great opportunity for us to re-use XML objects already present in our older Research Standard here in the newer Interactions Standard. Keeping the object designs consistent between the multiple Standards in our suite was an important goal for us and we expect it will aid further adoption in the marketplace.”

Other key changes in version 2.0 include improving the method of identifying the number and types of firms involved in an interaction, reorganizing the tags used to identify the firms and individuals involved in an interaction, enhancing the ability to connect related interactions, adding the ability to connect related research content, and refining the mechanism to track the status of both the interaction itself and of each participant in the context of the interaction.

The Interactions Working Group acknowledged that Version 2.0 will not be backward compatibility with version 1.0 of the RIXML Interactions Standard. This decision was not made lightly; however, the working group felt the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. The RIXML organization determined that making these changes now will ensure that the RIXML Interactions Standard will be in the best position to address the needs of firms both now and in the future, and were necessary to ensure that the standard facilitates the process of capturing the data necessary to comply with MiFID II’s requirements for paying for advisory services.

Documentation and schema files can be found on the RIXML website: http://www.rixml.org.

Our Take

RIXML.org is a standards body operated by member firms from the buy-side and the sell-side, as well as research aggregation vendors, market data vendors, and technology vendors.  The organization created the RIXML schema more than 15 years ago and it has become widely adopted across the investment research marketplace.  The RIXML schema offers research publishers a standard way to tag their reports such that publishers and aggregators can effectively categorize them and improve the research discovery process for their readers.

RIXML.org members are comprised of ten brokerage firms including Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Raymond James, RBC and UBS.  There are also 11 vendors who are members including Bloomberg, Blue Matrix, Eidos Media, FactSet, IHS Markit, Quark, Moody’s, S&P Global Intelligence, Refinitiv (Thomson Reuters), Visible Alpha / ONEaccess, and WeConvene.

Interactions data is becoming increasingly critical to the buy-side as an input for assigning value for research services received in an unbundled post MiFID II world.  For the sell-side interactions data is a critical component of negotiations with asset managers to determine research fees and the level of service provided.   High-touch services such as analyst access, conferences and other forms of direct contact tend to be more highly valued on both the buy- and sell-side – a factor that has driven the development of a number of vendors to help asset managers collect this data and value the research they use.

The release of an updated set of standards for interactions is important for the sell-side who need to tag the data they provide their clients in an accurate manner; for vendors who need a standard way to define this data and standard format to ease data indigestion; and, for the buy-side who know what types of interactions they find most meaningful and what they think should be collected.

Thus far, Version 1.0 of the Interactions Standard has not gained the level of traction expected by RIXML.  However, the standards body explained that one reason for the slow uptake of Version 1.0 was the fact that the organization made it publicly known some time ago that the major enhancements to Version 2.0 would mean that it would not be backward compatible with Version 1.0.  RIXML management felt this factor probably convinced many potential users to wait until Version 2.0 was released before adopting the interactions standards.

RIXML.org is looking for any market participants to review the latest data standard and comment on it during the upcoming 30 days.  Details on Version 2.0 of the Interactions Standard can be found by clicking here.



About Author

Mike Mayhew is one of the leading experts on the investment research industry. In addition to founding Integrity Research, Mike is on the board of directors of Investorside Research Association, the non-profit trade association for the independent research industry, and a frequent speaker on research industry trends and developments. Mike has over thirty years of research industry experience. Email: Michael.Mayhew@integrity-research.com

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