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Charles River Shrink Wraps Compliance Solution to Offer Compliance as a Service

Charles River has packaged the compliance module of its Investment Management Solution to offer Compliance-as-a-Service (CaaS) to asset managers seeking economic and efficient start-of-day portfolio compliance.

The service is cloud based and integrates software, data and advisory services that include writing and maintaining compliance system rules. It is designed to help small and medium-sized firms and is targeted by Charles River at new clients on the basis that it is a stand-alone offer packaged specifically to provide a low barrier to entry for clients that need to monitor and meet regulatory guidelines. Many of the company’s existing clients use the compliance module of the Investment Management Solution on a hosted basis, but most use it in conjunction with other modules of the system.

Tom Driscoll, managing director, global, at Charles River, explains: “We have offered compliance solutions to the buy-side for about 20 years. As we expanded into front-office activities we saw common patterns of firms struggling to manage the data, rules and systems needed to meet the requirements of changing regulatory compliance. We looked at firms with a specific need for compliance, mostly those that don’t have the in-house capability to support compliance or find it cost-prohibitive, and decided to package the reference data required with a cloud platform and advisory services. We have leveraged a compliance system used by about 360 of our clients globally and shrink wrapped it to provide Charles River CaaS, a tightly packaged, cost effective and efficient deployment including hosting, application management, data and day-to-day rule writing.”

The service is based on a single tenancy model with each client accessing a dedicated instance of the Charles River compliance software that can be tailored to their needs, although Driscoll points out: “The service is about economies of scale, but it is not an homogenised multi-tenant environment. Nor is it a bespoke service with functionality that can be customised. It is a standard system that can be configured to meet client needs.”

The service is built on a flexible Charles River rules engine that includes thousands of rules from about 30 regulatory bodies worldwide. It can also accommodate rules required by asset managers’ clients. Reference data comes from the Charles River Data Service, mainly Interactive Data Corporation data, although Charles River is deploying additional reference data sources, and clients can supply their own reference and benchmark data from preferred providers.

Advisory services help to identify the rules and workflows needed by individual clients to achieve compliance, leaving users to provide portfolio holdings once a day for compliance monitoring on a batch basis.

Ed Fitzpatrick, vice president, managed services, at Charles River, says: “The regulatory environment is increasingly complex and many firms struggle to find and maintain the compliance knowledge and skills necessary to stay current. Our CaaS solution extends a firm’s compliance organisation with an experienced Charles River team that writes and maintains the compliance system rules.”

The company expects pension firms, funds of funds and hedge funds to be among the small and medium-sized organisations that will be attracted to the CaaS solution, which is available in North America and will be rolled out across Europe and Asia later this year.

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