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Document Digitisation

Contractual documentation underpins day to day trading activity in our market, from master agreements such as the GMSLA that are signed at the start of a relationship, to any bespoke trade-by-trade confirmations agreed bilaterally between counterparties. These documents dictate the behaviour of transactions under certain events, as well as certain economic realities such as eligible collateral and execution terms.

Having these documents in paper, image or PDF format in a shared drive disconnects them from the transactions that they govern, and makes it difficult to find, analyse and use them at any given time. Furthermore, owing to negotiations, there will be variants within contracts that many firms probably will have forgotten exist.

Digitising the documents solves for these issues, as well as allowing for operational efficiency in onboarding and negotiation phases of a client relationship. Formation of a Clause Library, collecting wording variants, and thereafter a model Taxonomy for distinct business outcomes, is the first step to standardising documents; standardisation itself being a prerequisite for digital representation.

Aligned to this vision, ISLA is working to develop digital versions of our market standard master agreements. The development of an on-line digital environment will amongst other things, allow firms to produce, deliver, negotiate and execute documents, and capture, process and store data from such documents. This will over time, be an integral component of any future digitalised regulatory reporting regime. ISLA is looking to work on a cross-industry basis to better understand how digital formats of our master agreements will benefit our members and the industry more broadly.

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