Back in March 2019 Ubisecure’s Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) service, RapidLEI, announced a partnership with Austria-based data marketing specialist, ProfileAddress. Under its ‘Register-LEI‘ brand, ProfileAddress joined RapidLEI’s Registration Agent (RA) programme as an RA for Austria, Germany and the UK. From 2020, Register-LEI’s services have been offered in additional markets, and it has become a global RA.
I caught up with CEO Michael Fux to discuss the current state of the LEI world and his vision for the future of Register-LEI.
Francesca: Let’s start at the beginning. Why did ProfileAddress decide to get started offering LEIs to its customers?
Michael: In 2017, a friend of mine who was working with a private bank in Liechtenstein mentioned problems with the registration of an LEI for his private wealth clients. We then set out to solve these problems. At first we applied to the GLEIF [Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation] as an LOU [Local Operating Unit], but quickly realised the advantages of working with RapidLEI as our LOU instead and focused on our quality of service and customer support as a RapidLEI Registration Agent.
F: And of course I have to ask, why did you choose – and continue to choose – RapidLEI as your LOU?
M: The choice was and is easy to make. Register-LEI stands for high-quality service based on state-of-the-art technical implementations. RapidLEI offers exactly that. Further, we aim to offer our customers excellent support and can ourselves rely on the support of the RapidLEI team. Finally, we both continually look for improvement to all services to ensure the highest standards of customer care.
F: What impact do you think the current global situation has had on LEIs?
M: In some countries, including Austria, you can benefit from tax advantages by investing in securities. However, this is subject to a positive annual result, which may be a problem in times of crisis. In those countries the rate of newly issued LEIs may drop. On the other hand, fresh money is being pumped into the economy to support it, which can lead to devaluation and inflation. This effect can be compensated for by buying stocks, and for that we need the LEI system and safe trading.
F: Do you foresee any trends for LEIs looking into 2021 and beyond?
M: The number of registered LEIs will generally grow. The rate of increase will depend on the situation in the individual market. However, the focus should also be on ensuring lapsed LEIs are renewed, so that organisations do not find themselves unable to trade at critical times [due to an invalid LEI and relevant regulations].
F: What’s next for Register-LEI?
M: Right now we are teaming up with KSV1870 (“Kreditschutzverband est. 1870”, one of Austria’s leading economic platforms with innovative, digital solutions) with the aim to become market leaders in Austria next year. At the same time, we are increasing our efforts in international English-speaking jurisdictions, financial centers and tax havens. Finally, Register-LEI offers LEI registration as well as managed services, outsourced or insourced.