Markit was founded in 2001 by Lance Uggla and a group of executives working in credit trading at TD Securities. They recognised a need for reliable, independent valuation data for credit default swaps (CDS), at the time a new and fast-growing product. They formed a new venture, Markit, to create CDS valuation and information products and services that would enhance transparency and aid portfolio and risk management.
After nearly two years of development work, in 2003, Markit launched the world’s first daily CDS end of day valuation service. For the first time, market participants would have access to a robust end of day valuation that represented an aggregated view of a credit, as opposed to the view of a single market maker. This data was provided on equal terms to whoever wanted to use it, with the same data released to all customers at the same time, giving both the sell-side and buy-side access to exactly the same daily valuation and risk management information.
Soon after the launch of this first product, Markit recognised the value of creating an accurate naming and numbering system for CDS instruments and underlying reference entities and acquired RED, an early-stage database of CDS identifiers. Markit funded the building and development of this database, and over several years eventually created an independent, trusted data set that helps eliminate uncertainty over which credit is being traded, reducing error and unintentional market exposure.