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My First SIFMA Show

May 28, 2008

My First SIFMA Show

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Today our Managing Partner wrote a piece for the A-TeamGroup.

I’ve been attending the show now for more than 20 years. When I first started in the mid-1980s, the show was dominated by content companies. As now, there were 3-4 really big players and hundreds of smaller ones. Reuters has been a constant among the larger players. But, back in 1985, Thomson had not yet embarked on the series of acquisitions that created Thomson Financial.

Dun & Bradstreet had just bought Datastream of the UK and then Interactive Data (I led those deals). McGraw Hill had a number of entrants in the field including S&P Trading systems and Platt’s – and later Comstock. Quotron and a long-forgotten firm called Bunker Ramo were battling for the stock brokers’ desktops. Merrill Lynch and JJ Kenny were big providers of bond price data.

And, there were hundreds of small independent niche data firms offering everything from tranche data for CMOs, to corporate announcement data and pricing on specific instruments. Some offered fundamental data on securities from emerging markets. There were relatively few providers of analytic software. But there were a few. A small company called Bloomberg (originally MarketMaster) was struggling to gain traction against the big Kahuna – Telerate. Ahh, how times have changed.

By Ken Marlin

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