We’re excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at NICSA’s Strategic Leadership Forum (SLF) in Ponte Verde Beach, FL April 3-5, 2019. As the must-attend event for professionals in the global asset management industry, NICSA SLF will be a great opportunity to connect with peers and hear from all perspectives, such as asset management firms, broker-dealers, and an extensive group of firms that include technology, law, and service firms that support the industry. Read more
Product rationalization has been at the forefront of the mutual fund industry over the last few years. As a result, share class “churn,” which ramped up starting in 2016, is on pace to continue as managers add and replace share classes that better fit the current consumer demand. Read more
Recently we had the opportunity to gather with asset managers and others in mutual fund operations in Boston for our annual roundtable, where we discussed many of the pressing issues changing our industry. We realize how difficult it can be to take a step back to evaluate how our industry is changing, so we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to hear from key companies and individuals to strategize on challenges and opportunities brought on by industry disruption. Read more
Intermediary fees make up a significant amount of a mutual fund company’s annual expenses, with some totaling as high as 40%. Maintaining such a major part of a Profit & Loss Statement isn’t something firms take lightly, so as the complexity and volume of the fees have increased, operations teams are looking for new ways to streamline the invoice validation process and shift from the outdated, manual nature of Excel spreadsheets. Read more
Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) certainly had a lot on their plates in 2018 – from MiFID II and GDPR to considerations around the DOL Fiduciary Rule and Liquidity Rule, there have been many pieces of regulation that have captured their attention and pushed them to implement new operational and technological structures to comply. I had the opportunity to share some of my thoughts from Delta Data’s perspective with Ignites for a recent article. The following is a summary of some of those thoughts, which centered on the importance of transparency data in intermediary distribution of Mutual Funds. Read more
As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to think about strategies to make 2019 your best year yet. Solutions that just “got the job done” in the past year do not cut it anymore as firms and industry professionals are looking to innovate and optimize existing processes. If you’re a fund company brainstorming ways to bring your business to the next level in 2019, we have a New Year’s Resolution to add to your list: improve counterparty relationships and communications. Read more
Unexpected market closures, like the one we experienced recently for the funeral of former President George H. W. Bush, put the mutual fund industry in a precarious position. And while they don’t occur very often, when they do — it puts operations teams under serious strain, especially on the distribution side. Read more
Our employee spotlight this week, includes two great men. This year has been one of innovation, achievement, and exciting growth here at Delta Data. Some of our notable accomplishments in 2018 include the launch of new products such as FundBlast and our Proprietary Product Manager, recognition as a TAG Top 40 Innovative Tech company, and a NICSA Nova award win for Innovation in Technology. Read more
Every year, we have the privilege of bringing our clients together to talk about industry trends and discuss our latest product updates. It’s hands down the most instructive three days for us at Delta Data. They help us draw our innovation roadmap and keep our efforts focused on solving their problems rather than chasing the buzzwords in the headlines. I may be the CEO of Delta Data, but I’m proud to say that our clients truly guide the direction of our company. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Read more
2018 marks the 15th year since the mutual fund industry was rocked by the worst scandal in its history: the market timing scandal. It was in September of 2003 when New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer filed a complaint against the hedge fund Canary Capital Partners — charging they had engaged in “late trading” in collusion with a mutual fund in order to market time their trading in the fund. This was quickly followed by more charges by the New York AG as well as the SEC charging numerous mutual fund companies with allowing market timing in their funds. This scandal became a black eye for an industry that had a fairly strong track record of avoiding scandal. Read more
The relationship between a mutual fund company and its mutual fund sub-advisor is an important one. These trusted partners are relied upon for their expertise in managing strategies and products critical to the success of a fund company. Read more
Every year at NICSA’s General Membership Meeting, the top initiatives, technologies, and personalities in the asset management industry are presented with NICSA NOVA Awards. This year, we’re proud to announce that FundBlast won its “Innovation in Technology” Award, and are honored to have received this prestigious distinction. Read more
On August 31, 2018, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Strengthening Retirement Security in America. This EO directs the US Department of Labor and the Treasury to consider issuing regulations and guidance that would (1) make it easier for businesses to offer association retirement plans, also known as multiple employment plans (MEP), (2) improve the effectiveness of and reduce costs of furnishing required plan notices and disclosures, to include broader use of electronic delivery, and (3) update life expectancy and distribution period tables for purposes of required minimum distributions. Read more
As a firm dedicated to helping funds and distributors “stay ahead of the change,” we’ve been following the liquidity rule closely over the past year. Starting in the late fall of last year when ICI sent a letter to the SEC urging the regulator to delay the compliance date, to February of 2018 when the SEC did elect to grant firms a one-year extension, and continuing to present day where fund shops are in the midst of formalizing the processes needed to comply. Read more
Twenty years ago, email was coming into its own as a simple and effective solution for counterparty communications important information to large groups of people – a significant technological upgrade to faxes. For the fund industry, this has long been the standard for disseminating important information about products to the firms who distribute and service them. As the years went on, the industry has clung to the email based system ever since, despite the industry growing and becoming more complex. Read more
Last week, I attended SIFMA’s Fintech conference in New York. I sat through panels discussing the topics of the day in financial services operations – emerging technologies, the ever-evolving regulatory landscape, you name it. Overall, it was an engaging event with interesting insights into how fintech is transforming the financial services sector. As I reflected on the event and the topics explored, it became clear that many of us face the same challenges in grappling with new technologies that promise to transform the industry. Read more
Recently our firm completed the end of what can only be called an odyssey. For years, we sought to acquire the domain Deltadata.com from a company who bought up “swell sounding” domain names in the mid-nineties. Their business model may have been sound, but the execution ended up being quite poor. Despite our best efforts to reach them, we didn’t receive a response from the domain owner for more than 15 years. We felt like someone else had lost the blockchain hash key to our domain name! Read more
It’s indisputable that fintech is rapidly changing the landscape of financial services. It seems as though there’s a new innovation every day promising that Mutual Fund asset managers can leave their outdated legacy systems behind. Broker-dealers have been particularly hampered in recent years due to where they sit in the mutual fund supply chain. They are pulled in all directions, whether it’s their fund company partners adding or altering share classes or responding to demands from their investment managers around product availability, performance, and transparency. Read more
Fund Communication is Ready for an Upgrade
Tech innovation is necessary to cut the industry’s ties with legacy software, FundBlast System.
The industry’s move to an email-based system has been the only minor update to the blast fax infrastructure in the last 30 years with regards to communicating fund changes and events. The mutual fund industry is rooted in a complex data set and has embraced its own way of processing data.
Fund companies currently send thousands of emails to their distributors. Recipients of these emails must parse through each one to determine if the communication is even relevant. In the case that an email is pertinent, that firm must then figure out the appropriate changes to process and move it downstream in their organization. It is a time-consuming process that relies heavily on manual intervention, making it riddled with risk.
We recently had the privilege to host some of our clients and Mutual Fund industry leaders for a roundtable discussion in Boston. It was an opportunity for us collectively to step away from our daily workplace rituals and talk about the future of our industry. Read more
COLUMBUS, GA (February 27, 2018) – Delta Data has announced its participation as a presenter and sponsor at NICSA’s Strategic Leadership Forum (SLF), to be held February 28 – March 2 at the Doral in Miami, FL. Read more
The SEC voted on Wednesday to delay the compliance date of the classification requirement of the Liquidity Rule in what turned out to be a whirlwind of a week for the regulatory body.
With a delay now formalized, fund firms with more than $1 billion in assets now have till June 1, 2019, to comply with the classification requirements, while smaller firms have till Dec. 1, 2019. The SEC also issued an FAQ document detailing compliance requirements for the rule, which you can find here. The other requirements of the rule still go into effect December 1, 2018, for large funds and June 1, 2018, for smaller funds. Read more
ATLANTA (February 21, 2018) – The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the state’s leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of Georgia’s technology industry, today announced Delta Data as one of its Top 40 Innovative Technology Companies in Georgia. TAG will recognize this prestigious group at The Summit 2018 on March 20th and 21st, 2018, at the Cobb Galleria Centre. Read more
In part three of our series looking at the world of mutual fund changes and how they’re communicated, we look toward the future. To recap, funds and distributors have been frustrated with the fund event communication process since the beginning. The main issue is that manual processes, lack of standardization, and massive amounts of irrelevant data confuse both the funds and the distributors – and leads to errors, audit issues, and fines. Read more
While mutual funds may still dominate the U.S. market, ETFs are gaining traction quickly. According to the 2019 Investment Company Institute Factbook, at the end of 2018, the U.S. domestic mutual funds market amounted to $17.7 trillion in total net assets. At the end of 2018, US domestic ETFs had $3.4 trillion in total net assets, which is double the assets in ETFs from just five years ago. Index domestic equity ETFs are attracting one and a half times the net inflows of index domestic equity mutual funds since 2009. Clearly, ETFs have become very popular investments in a rather short period of time and are continuing to grow. Read more
As I discussed in my last blog post, Collective Investment Trust (CIT) growth is something we’ve been keeping a close eye on here at Delta Data.
I believe this trend strikes a particularly loud chord within the industry today because it’s a microcosm of the seismic changes we’re helping our client’s weather in terms of product strategy. It’s yet another moment in time in our industry where the curtain has been pulled back to reveal some of the back-office shortcomings that have plagued us for years, like siloed data systems that rely heavily on manual processes and spreadsheets. Read more
Customers like a frictionless experience when it comes to finance. When a client has decided to transfer their assets, it’s important to educate them as much as possible. This means keeping customers in the loop as to where their assets are and when they are expected to transfer. No one likes getting the run-around, especially not when it comes to making such a big financial move. The key to streamlining the trust customer’s experience in ACATS is to make the process more proactive than reactive. Read more
At the recent Coalition of Collective Investment Trusts annual meeting in New York, a central topic of all the sessions was a clear move down market. CITs are no longer only marketed to and sold to the mega plans where they got their start 15 years ago. Smaller 401k plans are now the target and this shift in demographics could spell disaster without technology support. Read more
A recent article in Ignites caught my eye. It detailed a recent research report by Deloitte’s Casey Quick, which revealed that asset managers that spent the most on technology (related to distribution) over the last three years saw significantly higher profit margins than those of their peers.
We’re looking forward to attending and exhibiting at ICI’s General Membership Meeting (GMM) in Washington DC May 1-3, 2019! In its 61st year, ICI’s GMM is a great opportunity to connect with other leaders in the global fund industry, as well as hear insights from their top-of-the-line speakers.
We recently returned from sunny Florida, where Delta Data sponsored, exhibited, and spoke at NICSA’s 2019 Strategic Leadership Forum, and we thoroughly enjoyed the event. From disruptive technologies to gender diversity in asset management, to fraud prevention, there were many engaging topics discussed at the conference. However, the main thread woven throughout the sessions was how to adapt to change in our industry to increase productivity and streamline go-to-market strategies.