Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) and FT Interactive Data, the major operating subsidiary of Interactive Data Corporation (NYSE: IDC), today announced an agreement which expands FT Interactive Data's role as the primary independent provider of evaluated pricing for the Merrill Lynch Global Bond Indices.
FT Interactive Data evaluated prices are currently used by Merrill Lynch to value the vast majority of the constituents in Merrill Lynch's U.S. high grade, high yield and emerging markets bond indices. FT Interactive Data's evaluated prices are also utilized in the calculation of the Merrill Lynch Canadian Bond Indices, and the two firms now seek to expand their working relationship into other non-dollar markets going forward.
"In the 1990s, investors began to demand greater transparency in their benchmark indices - an area where Merrill Lynch has always scored well given the open architecture of its Bloomberg - and web-based delivery platforms. Today, investors are equally interested in knowing that the valuation process is independent of the compilation agent's own trading activities," said Phil Galdi, managing director of the firm's global index team. "Our goal, working with FT Interactive Data, is to increase the percentage of our global universe that is independently evaluated to as close to 100% as possible."
Within the North American series of Indices, Merrill Lynch's flagship U.S. High Yield and High Grade Corporate Bond Indices are both compiled entirely on the basis of evaluated prices provided by FT Interactive Data. With this expanded agreement, on a global basis, Merrill Lynch will now be using independent evaluated prices for 80% of the entire Merrill Lynch Global High Grade Bond Index universe, and 90% of the entire Global High Yield & Emerging Markets Index universe, which together comprise more than 24,000 securities.
About Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) is one of the world's leading financial management and advisory companies, with offices in 35 countries and private client assets of approximately $1.5 trillion. As an investment bank, it is a leading global underwriter of debt and equity securities and strategic advisor to corporations, governments, institutions and
individuals worldwide. Through Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, the company is one of the world's largest managers of financial assets, with assets under management of $513 billion.
For more information on Merrill Lynch, please visit www.ml.com.
About FT Interactive Data
FT Interactive Data is a leading provider of financial information and analytical software to global markets. FT Interactive Data supplies global securities pricing, evaluations, dividend, corporate action and descriptive information designed to support mutual funds' pricing activities, securities operations, research, and portfolio management. The
company collects, edits, maintains, and delivers data on more than 3.5 million securities, including daily evaluations for more than 2.5 million fixed income issues. FT Interactive Data specializes in "hard-to-value" instruments and "hard-to-get" information from emerging markets. The company also provides index and constituent data to the international investment community.
Through CMS BondEdge, an affiliate of FT Interactive Data, the company is a recognized leader and independent source of fixed income portfolio analytics, risk management tools and quantitative research. FT Interactive Data is the major operating subsidiary of Interactive Data Corporation (NYSE: IDC), a leading global provider of financial and business information to institutional and individual investors. Headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts, Interactive Data Corporation has approximately 1,700 employees in offices throughout the world. To learn more, visit us at www.FTInteractiveData.com.
Interactive Data Corporation is approximately 60 percent owned by Pearson plc and included within its Financial Times Group. Other Financial Times Group companies include the Financial Times newspaper, FT.com and Financial Times Business. Pearson plc is an international media company with market leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing.