Securities Identifiers is a leader in prospectus and private placement memorandum writing services




Securities Identifiers assists with all aspects of private placement and public placement offerings.  A common business practice for those issuing private securities – and the mandatory rule that public companies must comply with – is the application and registration of a securities identification number, which can vary from country to country.  Also referred to as securities reference codes, the application use of these securities identifiers is multi-purposed. Securities identifiers issued by various industry agencies and utilities attest to the integrity of the security insofar as regulatory compliance, as a marking code when transacting the instrument for trade and trade settlement purposes and within global securities market databases.

The most popular securities identifier worldwide is the “ISIN” code (international securities identification number).  This code is mainly used outside of the United States, while in the U.S. the most common identifier for stocks or bonds is the “CUSIP” (Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures).  In the United Kingdom, the “SEDOL” (Stock Exchange Daily Official List) is most common.  There are scores of securities identification numbers (aka reference data) utilized worldwide which are mainly for clearing and settlement purposes and general securities identification.  Our team can assist with your securities identification needs and help apply and register the following, among others:

Valor or Valoraen Code

A VALOR number is for Swiss based companies or companies wishing to list in Switzerland.  This is a numeric identifier that has no data implanted in the numbers (unlike ISINs or CUSIPs etc.).


A WKN or Wertpapierkennnummer, (WKN, WPKN, WPK or simply Wert), is a six letter code that is mainly for German based companies or securities, or those listing in Germany proper.  There are letters in the code that are omitted and there is no check digit or data imbedded inside the letters like an ISIN or CUSIP.


An APIR code is mainly for Australian companies or securities, or for those wishing to list their securities on an Australian exchange.  APIR stands for Asia Pacific Investment Register.  It has nine characters and, like the ISIN, is alphanumeric.  Although APIR numbers are used primarily in Australia, they are also used in New Zealand, Ireland and, in some cases, the United States.

LEI – Legal Entity Identifier

An LEI, or Legal Entity Identifier, is both similar and dissimilar to the ISIN code.  Both the ISIN and LEI are alphanumeric, but the ISIN is 12 characters while the LEI is 20 numbers and letters in length.  The ISIN identifies the securities, such as stocks, bonds, warrants, etc., while the LEI’s prime identification purpose is to classify the company.  Said another way, the ISIN is tasked to identify the securities at the securities level, while the legal entity identifier is tasked to identify the company or entity.


Also like the ISIN there is the NSIN or National Securities Identifying Number.  The NSIN, like the ISIN, is also alphanumeric but like the CUSIP is 9 characters and not 12 like the ISIN code.  The NSIN identifies fundable securities (it can be interchangeable with the same type of class or share).  In some cases, the NSINs are used to identify the ISIN code number, itself.


FIGI code, introduced by securities market data firm Bloomberg LP and used within the Bloomberg LP global database terminal farm, stands for Financial Instrument Global Identifier, is similar to the ISIN number in that it is 12 characters long consisting of letters and numbers.  All types of securities can utilize the FIGI codes, including those for stocks, bonds, futures, derivatives options and much more.  Nearly 300 million FIGIs have been assigned since its inception.  Currently there is momentum in the world financial industry for the growth of FIGIs.


A CUSIP is a 9 digit code that is mainly used to identify securities in the U.S. and Canada.  CUSIP is operated by Standard & Poor’s on behalf of the American Bankers Association and it is the most common securities identifier in the United States.


A MIC code, or Market Identifier Code, identifies securities trading exchange, and not the company or the securities (like the LEI or the ISIN).  Both regulated and unregulated trading markets are represented in the MIC system.  Unlike other longer identifiers, MIC is quite short, 4 characters that are alphanumeric.  Trades that have been executed or transacted globally can obtain a MIC code.


ISIN is a 12-digit code most commonly used throughout the world to identify stocks and bonds.  ISIN is an acronym for International Securities Identification Number.  ISINs are most commonly used for public listings and IPOs and are a requirement for most stock exchanges worldwide.


A RIC code, or Reuters Instrument Code, is not like an ISIN or other identifiers.  It is used by Reuters to simply identify either financial instruments, or indices.  People use RIC codes normally for research purposes and not to identify their securities like an ISIN or CUSIP would.  RICs consist of a security’s ticker (see below) which can then be optionally followed by a ‘period’ and exchange code based on the stock exchange at hand.


SEDOL is a 6-digit code used by the United Kingdom to identify UK based stocks and bonds.  It is the most popular identifier used in the UK along with the ISIN code.


CFI codes, Classification of Financial Instruments, are six characters (alphabetical order).  The CFI code’s goal is to uniquely identify a financial instrument upon its issuance.  The CFI thus remains unchanged for the duration of the securities life.  CFIs assist in grouping securities in a more systematic and consistent manner.


FISN, which stands for Financial Instrument Short Name, was created to grant securities an avenue to create standardized short names and descriptions for securities and financial instruments.  In September 2014, the FISN standard passed its clearance for usage.  The idea would be to assign a FISN to a new security at the time of issue.  FSIN is an alphanumeric, 15-character code.

Option Symbol

Options symbols are also used worldwide.  An option symbol is simply a basic code that identifies options that are listed on an options exchange.  An option symbol identifies securities on a futures exchange as well.


Sicovam stands for Société Interprofessionnelle pour la Compensation des Valeurs Mobilières.  A Sicovam is the French securities identifier used on French stock exchanges, much like the SEDOL code is for the United Kingdom.  A Sicovam is a six-character code.  Like CUSIPs, Sicovams can be converted in ISIN codes, as well as CUSIPs and SEDOLs.

Uniform Symbology

Uniform Symbology is a six-character code that was introduced to create a common thread between European markets and securities.  The Uniform Symbology contains a stock code that also has a lower case letter at the end which indicates the stock exchange that it trades on.  These codes are only used in Europe and do not have widespread support like ISINs.

Ticker Symbols

Ticker symbols , in form of alpha symbology (typically 2, 3 or 4 letters depending on the exchange the instrument is listed), are a form of securities identifier; they are used worldwide for securities that trade on a public stock exchange.  Publicly traded securities, like stocks, are assigned a ticker symbol prior to being made available for trade.  Tickers vary in length and can contain both numbers and letters.  They are also referred to as stock symbols.


Contact Us Today To Schedule Your Free Consultation

Read More

Securities Identifiers, Reference Codes, Market Data