Chairman of the Board of BIGnet
Translation of the article from the Option Finance magazine
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Stephen Lord, head of the international department, Ellisphere
Stephen Lord is also Chairman of the Board of BIGnet, an association bringing together leading company information suppliers. He first started in the business at Coface (French credit insurer) and is now in Ellisphere using his expertise to expend their international activity.
Where did BIGnet start?
BIGnet was born in the mid-80s through the impulse of Ellisphere (France), Creditreform (Germany), Cerved (Italy) and Experian (United Kingdom), European leaders in the field of company information. The goal: to facilitate information transfers between countries by creating and developing an international network of companies with common standards. Today, BIGnet covers all of Europe with its 18 members. From Ireland to the Romania, Scandinavia to Portugal but also covering now the United States, this network has for objective to open access beyond these boundaries and add further countries such as Russia or China.
In simple terms, what does BIGnet offer to exporters?
Every company needs to identify potential business partners to export to. Also, they need to know and follow their financial situation. Therefore, they not only need to have access to such information but also in their own languages with a proper vocabulary that can change between countries. BIGnet has a role to play here. BIGnet helps us to provide reliable economic and financial information to our customers by mutualising resources and data from all members. They are accessible online via our applications and web services. The score provided is on standardized format whatever the country in order to facilitate the interpretation and use of the information.
How can you guarantee the quality of your data source?
Some of our members are certified by ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority), which is a measure of the quality of our score. Moreover, all our members provide to their own customers the expertise of their in-house analysts. They are meant to support the customers not only in their credit management processes but also in their decision making regarding foreign businesses.