Calastone MD Australia, Ms Shannon Bernasconi, said the milestone was very significant, both for Calastone and for the managed fund industry in Australia. “When I started with Calastone 18 months ago we had flows of about 100 orders per day,” she said. “The growth has been steady, and we have another 20 participants in either testing or advanced discussions to come online this year.”
Since inception, over AUD$10 billion of Australian investors’ assets have been automated through the network. “This is a significant reduction in risk of error in the handling of investor funds,” Ms Bernasconi said. “A volume of 1,000 orders per day will, over a year, remove around one million faxes sent and printed or scanned, so there’s a side benefit for the environment as well!”
Calastone launched in Australia in November 2011 with Macquarie Wrap as the first platform and Blackrock, Aberdeen Asset Management and Schroders as the first fund managers. Its managed fund technology provides a unique messaging hub, enabling organisations to electronically connect to each other irrespective of the chosen technology or messaging protocol in use.
“As a pioneer partner to Calastone in Europe and a first mover in Australia unsurprisingly we see enormous benefit with automating traditionally fax-based communications. Calastone enables Schroders, and our retail platform clients and superannuation investors to significantly reduce processing costs and operational risk,” said Schroders COO Asia Pacific, Murray Coble. “It also provides transparency through greater visibility of the order flow and in a timely manner.”
Calastone has both orders and electronic statements live in the Australian market. Distribution statements will be available from December 2014 and tax statements from March 2015. Technology to support these new products is being developed specifically for the Australian industry from specifications developed with users. Gil Orski, Aberdeen’s Chief Operating Officer said
“Aberdeen’s STP rates are now over 50%, significantly reducing scope for error and improving efficiencies. We would encourage others in the industry to consider automation for the many benefits it offers.”
Seven of the top ten Australian platform administrators use Calastone. More than 80 clients are currently using Calastone services, including NAB Asset Servicing, Netwealth, IML, EQT, Goldman Sachs, BT Financial Group, Hyperion, Fidelity, UBS, IOOF and Dimensional Fund Managers.