Northern Trust has entered into an agreement with National Quality Review (NQR) to provide US mutual fund managers with access to Intermediary INSIGHT, a service that helps managers support their operational oversight of intermediary firms.
The Boston-based NQR provides transfer agent, intermediary, and service provider oversight solutions to leading US financial institutions, including seven of the top 10 mutual fund managers and a majority of the top 50.
Under the terms of the agreement NQR will provide Northern Trust clients with an independent review of intermediary – entities which facilitate financial transactions between investors and investment products – and audit documentation in accordance with the Financial Intermediary Controls and Compliance Assessment (FICCA) Framework.
“Cost and compliance pressures continue to affect investment management operations, with intermediary oversight a key consideration for mutual fund managers,” said Lisa Shea of Northern Trust Fund Governance Solutions.
“We aim to bring deep, specific expertise to the table in the most cost-effective way for our clients. NQR is a best-in-class provider, and together we’re able to provide the combined benefit of NQR and Northern Trust expertise to support mutual fund managers’ oversight programs.”
Northern Trust added that having access to both its mutual fund administration services, as well as NQR Intermediary INSIGHT, in one service offering saves managers’ time and resources that would otherwise be put toward reviewing intermediary audit documents.
Managers also benefit from NQR’s direct access to key intermediary documents, cutting down on the time they would spend collecting these from intermediaries.
Online dashboards and targeted reporting allows managers to quickly focus on areas requiring attention, and to provide timely and relevant reporting to the chief compliance officer and a fund’s board of directors.
“We launched Intermediary INSIGHT to help fund managers collect and analyse oversight data more efficiently. As a result, they have more time to focus on strategic opportunities and building relationships with their distribution partners,” said Doug Fortin, NQR president and founding partner. “Teaming up with Northern Trust is a terrific opportunity to streamline oversight for many more managers and continue moving the industry forward.”