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Former Bank Data Execs Santiago, Armando Unveil Data Consultancy

Published on
July 10, 2017
Former Bank Data Execs Santiago, Armando Unveil Data Consultancy
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The pair will target financial firms based in South Florida that may not have dedicated market data resources.

Market data veteran Bernardo Santiago launched a new Miami-based data consultancy last week, dubbed S4 Market Data, which will focus on providing outsourced market data management services to firms in the South Florida area that lack a fully dedicated market data management function.  

Santiago, who serves as chief executive of S4, says the company will offer end-to-end data management, including vendor management and procurement, cost optimization, usage and rights management, and compliance services across the gambit of user firms, including broker-dealers, asset managers, family offices and investment advisors. As an initial service, and to get potential clients’ attention, S4 will offer an “Express Diagnostic” service, which provides firms with a report of potential cost savings within seven days.  

The plan is to focus on the South Florida market, as there are plenty of small- to medium- sized financial institutions here that have no dedicated market data staff… and who are familiar with the headaches of dealing with market data, but didn’t know there are people dedicated to managing it, he says.

In these types of firms, some data requirements might be handled by central procurement functions, with some handled by those in technology-related roles, but—especially when a firm is looking for data to support entering a new market—the investment professionals themselves are often responsible for procuring the required data, each of which can result in data licensing issues.  For example, a generic procurement function may not appreciate nuances of market data licensing.

If you’re buying marker pens, you just need to know how many to buy, and what color. But if marker pens were data, the provider would ask, ‘What are you going to write with them? Who will see what you’re writing? Will anything you write be sent outside your organization?’ he says.

On the other hand, allowing end-users to acquire their own data can lead to compliance issues.

Industry-wide, we see that access to data leads to assumptions about what you can do with data,” Santiago says. “End users know what they want to do with data—but that doesn’t mean they’re licensed to do it. So the first thing we need to do is educate these shops and make them aware of any issues and misconceptions.

Santiago spent the last two years as a senior market data analyst at Franklin Templeton Investments, following a brief stint as market data manager at Hutchin Hill Capital, and almost three years as senior analyst for market data services at RBC Capital Markets, during which time he relocated from New York to Miami. Before that, he was vice president of market data services at ITG, and assistant VP for market data services at Wellington Management, prior to which he was a market data analyst at WestLB, and a technology specialist at Pershing.  

He met S4 co-founder and chief operating officer Santiago Armando through a referral from a friend at RBC. Armando was most recently chief operations officer at food company The Sunsof Corp., prior to which he was a market data analyst at Deutsche Bank. The two began developing the concept for S4 in the first quarter of this year, and incorporated the company in late spring.

By Max Bowie