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Patrick Kirby, DTCC managing director, asset services

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DTCC acquires reference data business Avox

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The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation has acquired the outstanding shares of Avox, a reference data business located in the UK.

Avox’s primary business is cleansing and maintaining high-quality reference information on legal entities and counterparties needed by financial services to support a variety of operational, risk management and regulatory compliance activities, including know your customer and anti-money laundering reporting. 

Avox provides an automated, centralised corporate database resource, with information on the legal name, address, corporate hierarchies, immediate and ultimate parent, industry sector codes, company identifiers, and regulator information applicable to these companies.

“The need for accurate, well maintained reference data on securities and legal entities is a growing priority for the financial services industry, to help manage credit exposure, meet new regulatory compliance requirements and to improve transparency from the issuer to the end investor,” says Patrick Kirby (pictured), DTCC managing director, asset services. “The acquisition of Avox is a natural complement and part of a global strategy DTCC has underway to provide our customers with a full suite of value-added data capabilities.” 

The all-cash deal, which valued the business at a low double digit million GBP figure, was approved by the DTCC board of directors earlier this month. 

Deutsche Börse, which held the majority of shares in Avox, formally closed the transaction with DTCC on 1 July. 

Under the terms of the deal, the two founders of Avox, Ken Price and Steve French, who were also minority shareholders, will head the company in the capacity of chief executive officer and chief operating officer respectively. 

“The market has long searched for a true industry-owned utility platform for business entity reference data. Combining Avox’s proven capability to deliver high quality content with the DTCC’s networked community of users and user governance is exactly what firms have been asking for,” says Price. “What I find particularly exciting is the DTCC’s willingness to collaborate with other infrastructure organisations around the world to create a global industry standard for company related data. By combining our capabilities with DTCC and those of our clients and partners, we’re in an excellent position to help the industry better mitigate risk, achieve operational efficiencies and reduce their internal compliance costs.”

Avox clients includes financial firms such Citi, Barclays, Nomura International, Standard Bank, Mizuho, Allianz, Eurex, Swift, Mitsubishi UFJ and Royal Bank of Canada.

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