Outsourcing solution vendor Broadridge seems to be undergoing something of a strategic overhaul this month, with the announcement of two new key partnerships in the data management space. The vendor, which had a tough start to the year with net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 down by 1%, has signed two new agreements with corporate actions solution vendor Information Mosaic and with NewRiver, a provider of a central repository for mutual fund documents.
Broadridge has signed a multi-year agreement with Information Mosaic to install its corporate actions solution, cama, in Broadridge’s back office service bureau platform. The beleaguered vendor hopes the technology will help it to provide its customers with corporate actions processing support and boost its take up this year.
John Hogan, president and chief operating officer of Broadridge, hopes that the combination of cama and Broadridge’s outsourcing capabilities will enable the vendor to deliver a real-time global corporate actions managed service to broker-dealers, asset managers, and custodians. “Additionally, this alliance will provide a compelling value added service to our global operations outsourcing clients as we expand our clearing and outsourcing solutions business segment (Ridge Clearing) internationally,” he adds.
The deal also represents a significant opportunity for Information Mosaic, which at the end of last year completed the rollout of its solution at JPMorgan’s UK operations. John Byrne, chief executive of the vendor, reckons it will be a good year for its corporate actions solution: “As a result of this deal and others, we expect that as many as fifty highly specialised and value added skilled jobs are likely to be created in Information Mosaic within the next two years.”
As well as Information Mosaic, the Investor Communication Solutions division of Broadridge has also signed a new deal with NewRiver, which has developed a central repository of mutual fund documents and data for financial services firms. The deal is an extension of its prior agreement with the vendor, which was in place for five years and covered e-delivery of confirming and first dollar prospectuses. During 2008, the two vendors worked together to deliver seven million first dollar prospectuses electronically to the brokerage industry.
This new five year exclusive agreement accelerates Broadridge’s move to print on demand services for first-dollar deliveries on behalf of broker-dealers. Using NewRiver technology will also allow Broadridge to increase its service options to its clients and their customers through greater digital print on demand and e-delivery models, say the vendors. Accordingly, Broadridge will exclusively offer NewRiver’s web-based data warehouse, Prospectus Express, and its database of PDF format prospectus and supplement documents, Virtual Document Warehouse, for pre-sales and first dollar deliveries in the brokerage market.
The vendor hopes this agreement will allow it to deliver a summary prospectus solution to the brokerage industry in order to enable its clients meet the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recently approved Summary Prospectus rule. Both NewRiver products are sourced daily from the SEC’s securities filing database, Edgar, and Prospectus Express offers the summary prospectus online and links directly to the statutory prospectus, as required by the SEC, says the vendor.
Moreover, Broadridge hopes that Virtual Document Warehouse will allow it to fulfil first dollar delivery requests using print on demand rather than traditional pick-and-pack processes, thereby creating efficiencies for its customers.
Lyell Dampeer, president of the Investor Communication Solutions division in the US for Broadridge, explains the driving force behind the SEC’s regulation: “The SEC’s Summary Prospectus Rule promotes more robust online disclosure and may better serve the needs of investors, as well as investment companies and brokers. E-delivery provides another obvious option for investors to receive disclosure documents in a timely manner and in a form that may be more appropriate for their needs.”
Russ Planitzer, CEO and chairman of NewRiver, adds: “Because of the SEC’s Summary Prospectus Rule, firms can better meet the needs of their customers by delivering prospectuses in the form and length they desire. For the industry, that means even greater cost savings through e-delivery growth and by shifting to a digital, print on demand model.”
It is not just the US that is looking at this area. At FIMA in London in November, Francis Gross, head of the external statistics division at the European Central Bank (ECB), suggested that the central bank could make available these prospectuses directly to the market via electronic means. He explained, however, that a competition neutral data model and a standard taxonomy for reference data attributes would be required before the changes could be implemented.
Gross said that issuers would then become responsible for the accuracy of the electronic record containing the prospectus data. He suggested that rather than being taken out of the process altogether, vendors could offer ancillary services such as record maintenance services to update prospectus data as it changes.
The ECB has been engaged in discussions with the EDM Council over the last couple of months and this idea is likely one of the key subjects for further exploration.