The Australian Custodial Services Association (ACSA) has announced today that it will facilitate an industry taskforce approach to improving inefficiencies in servicing managed funds.
The move followed surveys by ACSA last year that found a wide-spread belief in the market that more could be done to lower administrative costs, reduce operational risk, and improve the investor experience when it came to managed funds.
These blockages were identified from the perspective of both fund manufacturers and investors, including wealth platforms, superannuation funds, and individuals.
ACSA said the new initiative would try to encourage more automation and standards for both the local market and potentially cross-border opportunities, and address systemic obstacles in servicing managed funds.
The taskforce’s focus would be framed along key pain points identified by the industry, including:
- Onboarding (AML/KYC process efficiency, potential to harmonise risk interpretation while also balancing fraud prevention and cyber security risks);
- Fund data (Regulatory, Tax, Profile Information) – opportunities to streamline publication and collection for all stakeholders, improve the integrity and consistency of data, encourage efficiency through a “publish once” approach;
- Corporate actions and reporting (including year-end) – standard formats and interpretations to improve the investor experience;
- Orders and transfers – taking the next step towards full electronic order routing, streamlined cash processing, automated in-specie transfers;
- Standards and common market practice (for all of the functions above, and additional process efficiency).