Calastone and Idea Group partner to improve interoperability for mutual fund transactions and flexibility for pension funds______

Calastone, the independent cross-border transaction network for the mutual fund industry, and Idea Group, specialists in providing management consultancy and IT services for the institutional investment industry, partner to improve interoperability for automated transactions.

The partnership between the two firms has been established to reduce costs and improve interoperability, to give pension clients solutions to software integration and offer whole-market connectivity. It brings greater control and better flexibility over investment and transaction decisions, automating order routing traffic using the ViaNova ISO 20022 standard.

By combining Calastone’s transaction network and Idea Group’s software and workflow integration tools, this partnership will bring significant cost savings to the pension industry by helping to automate the whole transaction lifecycle whilst at the same time giving the ability for Pension TPAs to obtain full market connectivity.

Additionally, huge challenges exist around the automation of ‘in-specie’ transfers. From 1 January 2013, every UK Platform will be obliged to support the ‘in-specie’ transfers of assets. To address this requirement, Calastone and Idea Group will bring the same market connectivity, software integration, and workflow benefits to market participants that wish to use Calastone’s current re-registration service for the transfer of assets between platforms, custodians, brokers and fund managers. This will enable full straight through processing and provide full visibility over the status of the transfer for all parties and thus enable market participants to be RDR compliant.

Commenting on the collaboration and re-registration product, Ian Taylor, Chief Executive Officer for Calastone, said, “This partnership is significant, and our expanding collaboration with Idea Group has been driven by a market demand to bring together best of breed solutions. From the very beginning Calastone’s goal has been to help the mutual fund industry benefit from the efficiencies of automation and an open approach designed to achieve full interoperability and easy collaboration. It is clear that Idea Group hold similar ideals and we have enjoyed working with them to formalise our partnership and look forward to helping our joint clients achieve greater cost savings and reduced risk.”

Idea Group Managing Director Ian Lyall said, “From our experience in providing solutions for pension funds, full market connectivity has always been an issue. Calastone has an impressive track record in automating market participants and has built an extensive mutual fund network which will enable our clients to realise the investments they have made in ViaNova ISO 20022. Like us, Calastone are keen to help customers identify and implement changes within operations to improve both their functionality and performance, as well as help manage risk. We also look forward to helping the wider market achieve automated re-registration by working with Calastone to provide services and interoperability that allow in-specie transfer of assets in the wrap and supermarket platform space.”

Clive Witherington, Head of Business Development for Towers Watson said, “Whilst Towers Watson are large users of the SWIFT network, Calastone and Idea Group are improving interoperability, which will increase smooth routing over the whole transaction life cycle. This will only be of benefit the end user.”

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