S4 Market Data: Architects of Market Data Management
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S4 Market Data: Architects of Market Data Management

Bernardo Santiago, Co-Founder & CEO and Santiago Armando, Co-Founder & COO, S4 Market DataBernardo Santiago, Co-Founder & CEO and Santiago Armando, Co-Founder & COO
Market data is the lifeblood of financial institutions that are on a quest to garner vital information to surpass customer expectations and create market differentiation. On the flip side, while the market data spend continues unabated year-on-year, most financial institutions end up paying more for the same set of services from their long list of vendors. Most often, small-to-medium sized financial institutions may not have a dedicated market data team to analyze and resolve the market data management challenges that abound in vendor and administrative management. With market data spend being one of the top five direct costs, financial institutions realize that market data management is a strategic asset and seek industry professionals who can help address the growing data procurement and management concerns. “S4 Market Data seeks to be that trusted partner,” begins Bernardo Santiago, co-founder and CEO of S4 Market Data. With their primary offering of market data management as a service, S4 Market Data is the frontrunner in financial market data administration, vendor management and selection, cost optimization, and compliance serving a global clientele through a combination of onsite and remote support.

Elaborating on the current industry trends, Santiago draws attention to the fact that most financial institutions—investment banks, hedge funds, asset managers, private equity firms, and insurance companies—have to manage 100 to 200 vendors at a given time in a shifting regulatory landscape, which is challenging. Though the brightest minds are at work to glean the maximum insights from the data, oftentimes multiple vendor contracts dictate how they can or cannot use data alongside additional charges for every use case.

There are also gaps in ascertaining the real users of the data and judging the need to renew or cancel certain services. “Our services help organizations gain access to an inventory of data services and users to implement the right cost optimization strategies,” explains Santiago Armando, co-founder and COO of S4 Market Data.

With a deep focus on cost optimization, the S4 Market Data team identifies and reviews their customer’s universal vendors, their services, subscriptions, and contract terms, and ascertains the end consumers that consume the data. The data is collated and presented in a way that gives decision makers a clear view of what their spend is and places them in a better position to make a decision on cancellation, transfer, or renewal of contracts. The company’s services extend to introducing their customers to alternate and lesser known vendors who offer niche services at a lower cost. Furthermore, the team also works with legal department on contractual language with respect to intended product usage and coverage. “Throughout our practice, we have helped our clients improve their bottomline just by cost optimization and cost avoidance,” says Santiago.

Santiago’s and Armando’s more than two decades of collective market data management experience working for various buy-side and sell-side firms, investment banks, and hedge funds has immensely benefited their clients. Quoting an example, Santiago mentions a client that was having a hard time trying to identify the services of a user who left the company in order to cancel them. When S4 Market Data’s team did a more in-depth analysis, they noticed a couple of services that had been unnecessarily renewed with the contract stipulating non cancellation clause until the next year. The duo’s well-established relationship with vendors played a crucial role. The vendor obliged to their request to release the client from the contract, which otherwise would have resulted in a huge cost.

Gaining traction in the hedge fund space, today, S4 Market Data is the go-to boutique consulting firm for the financial information services industry. For the road ahead, the company is eyeing on the Latin American market to help organizations quickly identify cost-saving opportunities and optimize their market data spend.