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The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) launched the GLEIF Blog and Discussion Board on 29 September 2015. This blog features information related to Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) rollout. If you would like to comment on a blog post, please identify yourself with your first and last name. Your name will appear next to your comment. Email addresses will not be published. Please note that by accessing or contributing to the discussion board you agree to abide by the terms of the GLEIF Blogging Policy, so please read them carefully.

Join Us on 7 December 2016 for the GLEIF Webinar ‘Connect the Corporate Dots Globally with the LEI’

We deliver a progress report on collecting data on who owns whom in the Global LEI System and provide an outlook on principal GLEIF projects we will take forward in 2017


Author: Stephan Wolf

  • Date: 2016-11-24
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On 7 December 2016, 15:00 to 15:45 CET, the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) hosts a webinar offering a brief introduction to our organization and the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) initiative. The main objective of this webinar is to update on progress towards meeting the next milestone in the Global LEI System, namely, to enhance the LEI data pool to include data on who owns whom. In addition, we provide an outlook on principal projects we will drive forward in 2017 to continue increasing the wealth of information available to market participants with open, standardized and high quality LEI data.

To register for the free webinar, please refer to the ‘related link’ below.

Participants will have the opportunity to receive updates from:

  • Stephan Wolf – GLEIF CEO.
  • Karla McKenna – GLEIF Head of Standards.
  • Clare Rowley – GLEIF Head of Business Operations.
  • Christoph Schneider – GLEIF Head of IT Development and Operations.

Below you will find some background information on the topics covered in the webinar.

A brief introduction to GLEIF and the LEI initiative

The webinar provides audiences with an exclusive opportunity to get insight into the role of GLEIF in the Global LEI System and how we enable market participants to make smarter, less costly and more reliable decisions about who to do business with. In a nutshell, GLEIF is a supra-national, not-for-profit organization making available the only online source that provides open, standardized and high quality legal entity reference data with the potential to capture any entity participating in financial transactions globally. GLEIF is, by its statutes, agnostic to any particular commercial or political interests. GLEIF is uniquely positioned in the entity identification market. We manage a network of partners, the LEI issuing organizations, to provide trusted services and open, reliable data for unique legal entity identification worldwide. GLEIF services ensure the operational integrity of the Global LEI System.

The LEI is a 20-digit, alpha-numeric code based on the ISO 17442 standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It connects to key reference information that enables clear and unique identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions.

GLEIF and five ‘first mover’ LEI issuers carry out a prototype exercise on collecting data on direct and ultimate parents of legal entities in the Global LEI System

The 2008 financial crisis, and more recently, the leak of the Panama papers, has made apparent the importance of increasing transparency in the financial markets. To achieve this, the connections that exist between companies scattered across the globe need to be tracked.

The information available with the LEI reference data to date, 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 a next step, the LEI data pool will be enhanced to include the ‘Level 2’ data that will answer the question of ‘who owns whom’.

In March 2016, the LEI Regulatory Oversight Committee (LEI ROC) published the policy document, entitled ‘Collecting data on direct and ultimate parents of legal entities in the Global LEI System – Phase 1’. GLEIF is responsible for carrying out the project management and developing the organizational and technical standards required by the LEI issuing organizations (also referenced as Local Operating Units or LOUs) to collect the parent information. LEI issuing organizations supply registration, renewal and other services, and act as the primary interface for legal entities wishing to obtain an LEI.

In November 2016, GLEIF launched a prototype exercise together with five volunteering ‘first mover’ LEI issuing organizations to demonstrate the end-to-end process of Level 2 data collection and validation. The LEI issuers participating in the prototype exercise are: Bundesanzeiger Verlag GmbH (Bundesanzeiger Verlag), Business Entity Data (DTCC’s GMEI Utility), London Stock Exchange Plc, Saudi Arabia Credit Bureau and Unione Italiana per le Camere di Commercio, Industria, Artigianato e Agricultura. The participating LEI issuers worked with selected actual legal entities that have obtained an LEI (their clients) including several larger banks to collect parent information.

During the webinar, participants will learn more about the approach proposed by the LEI ROC on collecting data on direct and ultimate parents and will receive an update on next steps in the rollout of the project.

In addition, during the webinar we take a look at the most important topics we will drive forward in 2017. These include:

Helping the industry to meet LEI reporting requirements applicable as of January 2018 when the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive – MiFID II – will take effect: Earlier in 2016, the European Commission granted national competent authorities and market participants one additional year to comply with the rules set out in MiFID II. The new deadline is 3 January 2018. According to the EU executive body, the “reason for the extension lies in the complex technical infrastructure that needs to be set up for the MiFID II package to work effectively.” This legislative act requires hundreds of thousands of actors to obtain an LEI that have been under no such obligation to date. With regard to MiFID II, the European Securities and Markets Authority has clarified: “No LEI, no trade”. We stress again the urgency for affected firms to register for an LEI as soon as possible. During the webinar, we will inform on the concept of the ‘Registration Agent’, implemented by GLEIF, designed to streamline the registration process for large organizations.

Next steps to further improve LEI data quality: In cooperation with its partners in the Global LEI System, GLEIF focuses on further optimizing the quality, reliability and usability of LEI data. To clarify the concept of data quality with regard to the LEI population, GLEIF has defined, in close dialogue with the LEI ROC and the LEI issuing organizations, a set of measurable quality criteria using standards developed by ISO. These include criteria such as the completeness, comprehensiveness and integrity of the LEI data records. Instituting a set of defined quality criteria establishes a transparent and objective benchmark to assess the level of data quality within the Global LEI System. The webinar provides information on the GLEIF data quality management program and how it will evolve going forward.

The cooperation between XBRL International and GLEIF to address legal identity in digital business reporting: In June 2016, XBRL International announced that the XBRL International Best Practices Board, in cooperation with GLEIF, formed a working group to examine and make concrete recommendations about best ways to create consistency in referencing legal identity within XBRL documents. Specifically, the working group is tasked to develop recommendations about the consistent use of LEIs within XBRL taxonomies and instance documents. XBRL is the international standard for digital reporting of financial, performance, risk and compliance information, although it is also used for many other types of reporting. The open XBRL specifications are freely licensed to anyone seeking to use the standard. XBRL allows the creation of reusable, authoritative definitions, called taxonomies, that capture the meaning contained in all of the reporting terms used in a business report, as well as the relationships between all of the terms. During the webinar, we will deliver a progress report on addressing legal identity in digital business reporting as identified by XBRL International in cooperation with GLEIF.

Encouraging the wider business community to consider the benefits of having an LEI: Businesses across the globe are grappling with how to develop and implement a common entity identification system that could serve as a linchpin to identify financial market participants and connect data. We will outline how establishing the Global LEI Index, made available by GLEIF, as the primary source providing legal entity reference data could create additional efficiency gains for the entire business community. If your counterparts – corporate customers, providers and other business partners – could all be uniquely, easily and speedily identified with the LEI, that could provide you with cost benefits and new business opportunities. Accessing and using the LEI data pool could support a multitude of applications in, for example, risk management, compliance management, and client relationship management. During the webinar, we will outline how taking advantage of the Global LEI Index will empower the wider business community to cut costs, simplify and accelerate operations and gain deeper insight into the global market place.

Sign up for the GLEIF webinar

Don’t miss this opportunity to receive the latest information on GLEIF activities and LEI developments to be delivered during the webinar: Sign up now!


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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), LEI Regulatory Oversight Committee (LEI ROC), Level 2 / Relationship Data (Who Owns Whom), LEI News
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