Because data management has become so important in the industry, will we see a C-level data manager, such as a Chief Data Officer or Data Czar to manage front- to back-office data holistically and globally for the firm?
It's possible that all aspects of data management (i.e., operational, technological, compliance related) could be brought together under a single organization. But, given the nature of data, its users and large organizations, I suspect data management won't be consolidated soon.
What you'll likely see instead is consolidation of disparate groups within the functional areas that support data and a confederation of those areas - user groups, operational and compliance groups, and technologists. At Lehman, we are well down this path, and we have found huge benefits and synergies in consolidating operational functions that maintain reference data, as well as consolidating the systems that support those functions. We haven't put these consolidated groups under a single management structure, however, since the benefits that would be derived are less clear.
Clearly, though, there are pressures to consolidate technology solutions that support data management. Firms need to be in a position to provide their customers integrated technology solutions across the full set of capital market products. To do this efficiently requires having strategic data solutions across the enterprise's product lines that integrate reference data - such as securities, customer data and counterparty data - with transactions and positions data. Additionally, complying with regulatory demands is increasingly expensive and difficult while leveraging the traditional product/silo technology solutions that exist at most firms.
When I took this job, my predecessor had initiated a job search for a "Data Czar." One of my first actions was to kill the search, which I still think was the right thing. Yet, over the past five years, in piecemeal fashion, I've consolidated all IT responsibility for data management under an individual who reports jointly to the global heads of fixed income and equities technology. So maybe it's not a Czar, but it could be a Data Duke or Duchess!
Jonathan Beyman is chief of operations and technology at Lehman Brothers, as well as an executive vice president. In addition, Beyman has served as the firm's CIO since 2000.