With a newly rebranded fund data management product, and a newly installed London business development executive in the form of Rachael Brown, MoneyMate is seeking to capitalise on the challenge of data management facing fund managers’ distribution operations.
According to CEO Paul Fawsitt, fund managers are seeking to gain control over the data they need to satisfy new and incoming regulations that are forcing unprecedented levels of transparency on the funds distribution process. The company sees significant opportunity as funds begin to act to address the new requirements. It hired Brown – formerly of Netik – to lead its business development function in London.
Regulations like the Retail Distribution Review (RDR – no relation) and FATCA (the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) are forcing firms to put their data houses in order when it comes to communications to investors concerning the funds they market.
Many larger firms with global operations are especially challenged by what Fawsitt calls the ‘tribal conflict’ effect, wherein nuances for local markets can create variations in the descriptions of fund products, ultimately causing problems for the firms from a compliance standpoint.
MoneyMate’s Fund ProductManager is an ASP-based data validation platform that applies business rules to funds’ descriptive data, resulting in a cleansed, standardised and accurate description of fund products distributed by the manager. This data is then used for populating product descriptions, information memorandums and web-sites and micro-sites used in the communication of product information to clients.
The current focus on transparency is a major driver. Funds are no longer stressing performance alone – in the form of a ‘star’ fund manager, for example – but rather are emphasising characteristics like ‘trust’, ‘brand’ and ‘reliability’. To underpin these messages – as well as to meet increasingly stringent regulatory requirements – firms now want to provide clients with more information about the strategies underpinning their funds to give an idea of how the funds actually work.
Fawcitt says that by addressing data quality issues around distribution, fund managers can mitigate the risk of consequences of erroneous data – such as a litigation or other potentially damaging incident – while at the same time improve the client experience, increasing the likelihood of profitable repeat business or cross-selling.
The Fund ProductMaster platform runs at MoneyMate’s own data centres. It accepts data from a variety of sources and in a variety of formats. These include master product records; account/class level data; price and income information; expenses, charges and fees; returns, yields and breakdowns; country reference data; benchmark data; and third-party peer data from the likes of Barra, FactSet, Statpro, Morningstar and Lipper.
The platform applies both MoneyMate’s and firm-proprietary business rules to the data as required, and outputs either as a stream, to power web services, PDFs and emails, or as an extraction in XML, CSV or Excel. The process eliminates a raft of manual tasks, reducing both cost and error.
Exceptions are posted as alerts on a client dashboard, with messages sent both to the fund manager and the data source. MoneyMate’s own team monitors all activity to ensure that all output data is ready for primetime. Fawsitt reckons MoneyMate’s tailored solution can be quickly deployed for fast time to market.