Northern Trust signs tie-up to help asset managers improve data transparency

Partnership will enable analysis of distribution, providing clients with access to information to inform their sales strategy and help them to meet regulatory requirements. 

By Jonathan Watkins

Northern Trust has entered into an agreement with Finscape to provide clients with a view of their fund distribution activity.

The custodian said by streamlining market intelligence gathering, the Finscape service aims to help address industry-wide challenges around data transparency.  

Under the agreement, Northern Trust will make Finscape available to its asset manager clients globally, allowing them to carry out analysis of distribution, providing them with access to information to inform their sales strategy and help them to meet regulatory requirements. 

Northern Trust said the partnership also addresses the challenge for asset managers of identifying investors in their funds where sales are made via a third-party fund distribution platform. In such instances the transfer agency register shows a nominee position in the platform’s name, potentially creating challenges for the asset manager to readily identify the end distributor in the investment ‘chain’. 

Clive Bellows, head of global fund services, Europe, Middle East and Africa at Northern Trust, said: “This solution deploys advanced technology to provide asset managers with a comprehensive picture of their investors while reducing complexity and replacing inefficient reconciliation activity.

“Our agreement with Finscape reflects Northern Trust’s focus on helping asset managers distribute their funds via our Whole Office approach, providing access to new technologies and insights through the combination of our capabilities, networks and partnerships.” 

Finscape’s solution pools information from distribution platforms, asset managers and granular adviser data available from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. The resulting data is constantly reconciled by Finscape’s proprietary business rules, forming a picture of the market and allowing contributors to analyse their own flows compared to an aggregate view of their sector.

The service also supports clients in meeting regulatory requirements that asset managers must understand who their investors are and how their funds are sold. These obligations are included in the European Union’s MIFID II regulation, the Central Bank of Ireland’s Consultation Paper 86 and the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier’s 18/698 requirements.