The Bond Buyer - - Front Page - By Chip Bar­nett

elec­tronic mu­nic­i­pal mar­ket data, cel­e­brated its 25 years in the in­dus­try by in­tro­duc­ing a new prod­uct this year that ad­dresses the mar­ket’s need for best ex­e­cu­tion re­view.

DPC DATA Inc., a pi­o­neer in elec­tronic mu­nic­i­pal mar­ket data, cel­e­brated its 25 years in the in­dus­try by in­tro­duc­ing a new prod­uct this year that ad­dresses the mar­ket’s need for best ex­e­cu­tion re­view.

A closely held pri­vate com­pany head­quar­tered in Rose­land, N.J., DPC DATA was founded in 1992. To­day over 100,000 pro­fes­sion­als at bro­ker­age, clear­ing, and ad­vi­sory firms use the firm’s prod­ucts and ser­vices to ac­cess of­fi­cial state­ments, ma­te­rial events and con­tin­u­ing dis­clo­sures. The firm con­tin­ues to in­no­vate and ex­pand into new ar­eas based on their cus­tomer’s feed­back.

In 2017, along with cel­e­brat­ing its 25th An­niver­sary, DPC in­tro­duced Mu­niTRADEVIEW, an elec­tronic plat­form for best ex­e­cu­tion re­view where cus­tomers can ac­cess real-time and his­tor­i­cal bid wanted and of­fer­ing data. The data is ag­gre­gated from the par­tic­i­pat­ing mem­bers of Mu­nic­i­pal Bond In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices. Users can also com­pare a trans­ac­tion price to over 125,000 daily mar­ket ob­ser­va­tions col­lected from sec­ondary trad­ing feeds.

Mu­niTRADEVIEW came about in re­sponse to clients who were be­com­ing wor­ried about the Mu­nic­i­pal Se­cu­ri­ties Rule­mak­ing Board’s Rule G-18 on best ex­e­cu­tion and how best to meet its re­quire­ments.

Ken Hoff­man, Pres­i­dent of DPC, said that last year he con­tacted Ron Valinoti, the board man­ager of MBIS, a con­sor­tium of muni bond deal­ers that pro­vides live mar­ket data.

“He had the data that was cru­cial to the ‘wa­ter­fall’ re­view ap­proach de­scribed in the G-18 reg­u­la­tion, so we started look­ing into how we could cre­ate work­flows that in­cor­po­rated that data, and would match our clients’ needs,” Hoff­man said. “We got an over­whelm­ing re­sponse to our pro­to­types last year, and this year we ac­tu­ally built a so­lu­tion.”

DPC main­tains an open dia­log with the MSRB and FINRA as it re­lates to the on­go­ing evo­lu­tion of its prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Back in 1997, DPC be­came one of the first Na­tion­ally Rec­og­nized Mu­nic­i­pal Se­cu­ri­ties In­for­ma­tion Repos­i­tory des­ig­nated by the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion. DPC has since evolved from be­ing a NRMSIR to a firm that ad­dresses dis­clo­sure-re­lated reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ance, in­vest­ment suit­abil­ity, port­fo­lio sur­veil­lance, un­der­writ­ing and due dili­gence.

In 2003, DPC launched Mu­niPOINTS, a prod­uct that con­denses facts into a news brief that aims to stream­line dis­clo­sure com­pli­ance. The doc­u­ments con­tain de­scrip­tive sheets on muni is­sues with bul­let-points taken di­rectly from of­fi­cial state­ments, with no an­a­lytic con­tent.

In 2010, DPC un­veiled Mu­niDOCS On­line, which pro­vides ac­cess to of­fi­cially filed dis­clo­sure doc­u­ments. It gives in­for­ma­tion needed to meet reg­u­la­tory obli­ga­tions and to an­a­lyze risk and pric­ing by link­ing to the DPC archive which goes back to 1994 and cov­ers 95% of all ac­tive is­sues. Also in 2010, DPC launched Mu­niGUARD Pro, which re­ports port­fo­lio in­for­ma­tion by pro­vid­ing ac­cess to dis­clo­sure and news by CUSIP-9 and of­fers the track­ing of all new de­vel­op­ments by is­suer or obligor.

In 2011, the com­pany un­veiled Mu­niGUARD News, which ad­dresses the ex­pand­ing def­i­ni­tions of reg­u­la­tory dis­clo­sure com­pli­ance for dealer and as­set man­age­ment firms.

In 2015, DPC launched its Fil­ings Sum­mary so­lu­tion to sup­port un­der­writ­ers’ due dili­gence re­quire­ments un­der a reg­u­la­tory pro­vi­sion re­quir­ing a five-year look back.

“Over the past cou­ple of years one of the most im­por­tant prod­ucts for us has been Fil­ings Sum­mary, which ad­dresses the SEC’s MCDC [Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Con­tin­u­ing Dis­clo­sure Co­op­er­a­tion] ini­tia­tive for un­der­writ­ers,” said Hoff­man. “That prod­uct ac­tu­ally took us into a new mar­ket­place.”

De­signed with the com­pet­i­tive bid process in mind, the stan­dard re­port pro­vides real-time gen­er­a­tion with live doc­u­ment links and ne­c­es­sary fil­ing dates. The professional re­port is cou­pled with a cal­cu­la­tion tool to de­ter­mine re­port­ing com­pli­ance and a workspace to high­light com­pli­ance is­sues and main­tain user com­men­tary.

“When the MCDC ini­tia­tive hap­pened, we did a lot of work with 20 to 25 dif­fer­ent un­der­writ­ers out there in help­ing them do their look­back and their due dili­gence,” said Joe Ro­driguez, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent of DPC, who has been at the firm since 1997 and is re­spon­si­ble for pro­duc­tion sys­tems. “And ev­ery­one’s ques­tion was ‘What’s go­ing to hap­pen next?’ So as we were do­ing our work for them, we started col­lect­ing more in­for­ma­tion, databas­ing more de­tails from talk­ing to all these peo­ple and we came up with the Fil­ings Sum­mary so­lu­tion.”

Hoff­man said the so­lu­tion is the com­bina- tion of the ef­forts of both man and ma­chine.

“We don’t just do things pro­gram­mat­i­cally, us­ing tech­ni­cal so­lu­tions. We do have some al­go­rithms that we cre­ate to find in­for­ma­tion that we need to dis­sem­i­nate to our clients but we also have a very skilled an­a­lysts in our com­pany and they’ve been with us for many years.”

DPC em­ploys about 35 an­a­lysts. Hoff­man, who joined DPC in 2015, added that Mu­niPOINTS and its add-on ser­vices con­tin­ues to be an im­por­tant prod­uct for DPC. Pre­vi­ously, Hoff­man was di­rec­tor of wealth man­age­ment prod­ucts for Tradeweb Di­rect. Prior to that, he held sim­i­lar po­si­tions at BondDesk, Cashedge and S&P Global Rat­ings.

To­day, DPC’s clients in­clude more than 60 of the top bro­ker/deal­ers and banks. Its method­ol­ogy is based on 86,000 oblig­ors and its data­base is linked to over 5.3 mil­lion CUSIPs. DPC’s data­base, which goes back 20 years, also holds 1.1 mil­lion ma­te­rial event no­tices, over 1 mil­lion con­tin­u­ing dis­clo­sures, which in­clude fi­nan­cials, more than 500,000 of­fi­cial state­ments, and al­most 1 mil­lion obligor-rel­e­vant news items.

“I think in the fu­ture, you’ll see more of the same from us, in terms of our very close re­la­tion­ship with our clients” Hoff­man said. “You’ll see us build­ing on the re­la­tion­ships with have with our clients by keep­ing up on new reg­u­la­tory things that come out. We are also very close to the al­ter­nate trad­ing sys­tems and they’re good part­ners of ours and they have changes in their work­flow based on new tech­nol­ogy that’s com­ing out and we will be lis­ten­ing very care­fully to see how that may af­fect our clients.” q

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