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Data on Who is Who: From 1 November 2017, Level 1 LEI-CDF Version 2.1 Concatenated File is the Authoritative Source

The GLEIF Concatenated Files, which include information on legal entities based on specific reporting formats, are available for download on the GLEIF website, free of charge


Author: Stephan Wolf

  • Date: 2017-11-02
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  • Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

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From 1 November 2017, the ‘Level 1 LEI-CDF Version 2.1 Concatenated File’, published by the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), is the authoritative source for Level 1 data, i.e. business card information on ‘who is who’ in the Global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) System.

This blog post offers background information on the data provided with the GLEIF Concatenated Files and outlines the benefits for LEI data users based on information now available for the entire LEI population with the Level 1 LEI-CDF Version 2.1 Concatenated File.

Links to dedicated GLEIF website pages that provide details on concepts mentioned in this blog post and access to related technical documentation are included in the ‘related links’ below.

What is meant by ‘Level 1’ and ‘Level 2’ data?

The business card information available with the LEI reference data, e.g. the official name of a legal entity and its registered address, is referred to as ‘Level 1’ data. It provides the answer to the question of ‘who is who’. In May 2017, the process of enhancing the LEI data pool, by including ‘Level 2’ data to answer the question of ‘who owns whom’, began. This data allows the identification of the direct and ultimate parents of a legal entity, and vice versa, in order that the entities owned by individual companies can be researched.

What are the ‘Common Data File’ formats?

Daily reporting of LEI and legal entity reference data is conducted by the LEI issuing organizations using the Common Data File (CDF) formats. The CDF formats provide the specificity needed for the operational implementation of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17442 standard (the LEI standard). LEI issuing organizations supply registration, renewal and other services, and act as the primary interface for legal entities wishing to obtain an LEI.

What are the ‘GLEIF Concatenated Files’?

GLEIF is responsible for ensuring open access to the complete LEI data pool. The GLEIF Concatenated Files provide a way to access the data pool. GLEIF publishes four separate ‘Concatenated Files’ daily. The Concatenated Files include LEIs and related LEI reference data published by the LEI issuing organizations. GLEIF does not modify any of the original source files provided by the LEI issuers. The Concatenated Files, which can be downloaded free of charge from the GLEIF website, include specific information on legal entities that have obtained an LEI based on the relevant CDF format.

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Level 1 data provided with the GLEIF Concatenated Files

The LEI-CDF format defines how LEI issuing organizations report their LEI and Level 1 reference data. The standard was originally developed by the LEI Regulatory Oversight Committee (LEI ROC) and mandated for all LEI issuing organizations in August 2014. Subsequently, GLEIF assumed the responsibility for maintaining the standard and developing it further.

In November 2016, GLEIF published for information the LEI-CDF format version 2.0, which primarily reflected the lessons learned together with the LEI issuing organizations from the application of the standard since 2014. In May 2017, GLEIF published a further update: the LEI-CDF format version 2.1.

Since 8 June 2015, GLEIF has published a daily Concatenated File containing Level 1 data for the complete LEI population based on the LEI-CDF format version 1.0. Since 8 May 2017, GLEIF has published an additional daily Concatenated File containing Level 1 data based on the updated LEI-CDF format version 2.1, as made available by LEI issuers that have achieved LEI-CDF version 2.1 capability.

As of 1 November 2017, the Level 1 LEI-CDF Version 2.1 Concatenated File contains the Level 1 data, i.e. LEI records and related reference data that provide information on who is who, for the complete LEI population. As of this date, the Level 1 LEI-CDF Version 2.1 Concatenated File is the authoritative source on Level 1 data.

GLEIF will continue to make available both the Level 1 LEI-CDF Version 1.0 Concatenated File and the Level 1 LEI-CDF Version 2.1 Concatenated File for a transitional period until 1 May 2018. This allows LEI data users sufficient lead time to adapt processes and operations in line with the LEI-CDF format version 2.1.

Benefits for LEI data users based on the Level 1 LEI-CDF Version 2.1 Concatenated File

The business card information represented in each LEI record, based on the updated LEI-CDF format version 2.1, now provides an improved user experience for the following reasons:

  • Increased data quality and more reliable data content.
  • Unambiguous information based on clean and fully documented data.
  • The data integrates more easily into databases or systems.
  • As a result of the information being structured more clearly, the data is easier to interpret by both humans and machines.
  • The richer data helps to categorize legal entities and therefore, allows for more insight into the global market place.

The following GLEIF services are now based on the LEI-CDF format version 2.1

The Global LEI Index contains historical and current LEI records including related reference data in one authoritative, central repository. As of 1 November 2017, the information made available with the Global LEI Index is based on the data included with the Level 1 LEI-CDF Version 2.1 Concatenated File.

Also, the following GLEIF services are now based on the LEI-CDF format version 2.1:

  • GLEIF Data Quality Management Program: The GLEIF data quality management program optimizes the integrity of the LEI data pool. Based on a set of clearly defined criteria, the program allows the quality of the LEI data pool to be monitored, assessed and further optimized. The monthly reports issued by GLEIF summarize the results of GLEIF’s assessment of the level of data quality achieved in the Global LEI System. (The November 2017 reports will be published on 5 December 2017.)
  • LEI Search: The Global LEI Index, together with the LEI search engine developed by GLEIF, puts the complete legal entity reference data at the disposal of any interested party conveniently and free of charge.
  • Challenge LEI Data: The centralized challenge facility made available by GLEIF extends the ability to trigger updates of LEI data to all interested parties. Specifically, it offers an easy and convenient means to trigger the verification and, where required, speedy update of LEI records including related reference data.

GLEIF will periodically review the CDF formats to identify the need for updates based on new or adapted policies introduced by the LEI ROC and to align with user requirements.


Read all previous GLEIF Blog posts
About the author:

Stephan Wolf is the CEO of the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF). Since January 2017, Mr. Wolf is Co-convener of the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 68 FinTech Technical Advisory Group (ISO TC 68 FinTech TAG). In January 2017, Mr. Wolf was named one of the Top 100 Leaders in Identity by One World Identity. He has extensive experience in establishing data operations and global implementation strategy. He has led the advancement of key business and product development strategies throughout his career. Mr. Wolf co-founded IS Innovative Software GmbH in 1989 and served first as its managing director. He was later named spokesman of the executive board of its successor IS.Teledata AG. This company ultimately became part of Interactive Data Corporation where Mr. Wolf held the role of CTO.


Tags for this article:
Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), Global LEI Index, GLEIF Concatenated Files, Common Data File Formats, Level 1 / Business Card Data (Who is Who), Standards
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