The Registration Authority is the entity that is primarily responsible for maintaining the standard – ensuring its quality, consistent application, distribution, and adherence to the rules. Where multiple Certified Providers exist for issuing FIGI (the FIGI itself and the required associated metadata), the Registration Authority has the responsibility of ensuring the Certified Providers adhere to the rules of the standard, do not duplicate any identification, and coordinate effectively with the Registration Authority and any other Certified Providers.
The Registration Authority and any Certified Providers are appointed and reviewed by the Object Management Group’s Finance Domain Task Force (which is also responsible for the FIBO standard). The RA role is currently assigned to Bloomberg, which operates OpenFIGI.com and other infrastructure to fulfill that role.
While there can only be one Registration Authority – as it functions as a central coordinator – the FIGI standard allows for multiple Certified Providers.
Certified Providers are the entities that actually create and issue FIGIs based upon the requisite metadata. Any entity can become a Certified Provider. The only restrictions are in regards to having (or building) the required infrastructure to perform the task, interact in partnership with the Registration Authority to enable data quality and distribution, and hold to the tenants of open data critical to the standard itself.
Certified Providers are not granted any rights or monopolies over any specific domains, asset classes, or jurisdictions. CP’s can choose to focus on a specific area or jurisdiction, but still would not have exclusive rights to do so. CP’s can react to requests by industry participants to create a new FIGI, or issue FIGIs proactively.
A Certified Provider could be a current data provider, but is not limited to any specific firm type, and therefore could be an exchange, broker, custodian, investment manager, or a vendor.
As with the FIGI standard itself, what matters is the function, not the label.
Bloomberg, as Registration Authority, continues to actively work throughout the industry to encourage firms to become Certified Providers, take up the cause of open data, and continue to champion transparency in the industry for the goal of reducing costs and increasing data quality for all.