How to Leverage Big Data and Service Providers’ Technology to Administer Your Mutual Fund’s Compliance Program

Sep 4, 2018 2:00:00 PM  |  '40 Act , Industry

“The SEC staff is currently using these [big data] computing environments and is also planning to scale them up to accommodate future applications that will be on a massive scale…We have utilized both machine learning and big data technologies to extract actionable insights from our massive datasets.”

- Scott W. Baugeuess, Acting Director and Chief Economist, SEC Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, SEC, June 21, 2017

Big Data Tools
Big data describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured—that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis. But what is important is what your advisory firm does with the available data, not the potentially huge volume. If the data can be handled by your firm using the right tools, it represents a treasure trove of valuable information. And since the SEC is explicit in its public comments about using big data tools, it behooves your firm to understand how you can also use appropriate tools, to forestall or eliminate regulatory inquiries and deficiencies.

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What Advisers Need to Know About Impact Investing: ESG/SRI

Aug 21, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  '40 Act , Industry

Even though the terminology ‘impact investing’ is relatively new in the last 10 years, the concept is not. There are many in the investment arena who are not familiar with details of what impact investing means or what it entails.

With the objective to gain a better understanding of impact investing, using terms such as ESG and SRI, and the influence it is having in the asset management industry among advisers, Ultimus’ Business Development Director, Mick Grunewald, recently spoke with First Affirmative Financial Network’s CEO, George R. Gay. In addition to his role as CEO of First Affirmative, George served on the US SIF (a nonprofit trade association for the SRI industry) Board of Directors from 1994 to 2008, has produced and hosted The SRI Conference since 1990, and received the industry's 1997 SRI Service Award.

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Q&A: Why Asset Managers Should Consider Inbound Marketing in their Mutual Fund Strategy

Aug 7, 2018 2:00:00 PM  |  Distribution

Ultimus’ Director of Distribution Strategies, Kevin Guerette, sat down for a quick Q & A session with Stacy Havener, Founder and CEO of Havener Capital, a sales and marketing agency representing undiscovered mutual funds from some of the world’s leading asset managers, to discuss the importance of developing a sound inbound marketing strategy.

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Finding and Developing Your Story

Jul 24, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  Industry

For investment advisers focused on managing a portfolio, the idea of developing public relations and marketing materials is not always top of mind, a high priority, or an easy undertaking. During Ultimus’ Client Summit earlier this year, one of our industry presenters, Bill Hortz, Dean of the Institute for Innovation Development, discussed the reasons why a story makes a compelling, memorable, and useful way for firms to create the basis of their public relations and marketing materials. 

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Warning Signs You May Need a New Fund Administration Provider

Jul 10, 2018 10:06:36 AM  |  '40 Act , Regulatory

Sticking with the Status Quo May Cost More Than Converting

As an investment manager, is your mutual fund administrator a transaction processor fulfilling basic functions? Or is your service provider engaged and strategic, providing high quality administrative services coupled with insightful business acumen? The difference could mean putting your organization in the best position for long-term success or putting it at significant risk.

While investment managers don’t always recognize that their service provider has become deficient, or fear converting to a new provider, staying with the status quo can be more risky. To help investment managers get the most out of their fund administrator, below are a few warning signs that indicate your current provider is not cutting it, along with some tips to ensure a smooth conversion if a switch is the best course of action.  

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Robots in Fund Administration, Really.

Jun 26, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  Data Management

An analysis of robotic technology benefits in fund administration for Investment Advisers - which also begs the question - is your service provider employing robots to stay ahead of the technology curve?

The thought of using robots in a data driven business like fund administration can seem strange or out of place on the surface.  Whenever the idea of utilizing robots to improve efficiencies and reduce risk is mentioned, the typical question is ‘What role can robots really play in a business that is driven mainly by the flow of data and information’?  Unlike industries such as the automotive industry where robots play a major role in assembly and quality control, it may seem difficult to draw parallels to robots performing similar functions in fund administration.  Nevertheless, those parallels exist, and robots are starting to play major roles in businesses like fund administration, driven by the flow and analysis of data.  And while the benefits within a service provider, such as increased efficiency, transparency, and reduced risk can be expected, robots also provide benefits for investment advisers through improved data, increased customization, and enhanced and faster delivery methods.

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Examining the Pricing Vendor Due Diligence Process in the Mutual Fund Space

Jun 12, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  '40 Act , Regulatory

Rule 38a-1, under the Investment Company Act of 1940, commonly called the “Compliance Rule,” identifies the investment adviser, principal underwriter, administrator and transfer agent as the “significant” service providers to a mutual fund.  The Rule further states that a due diligence review of the policies and procedures should be completed for these service providers at least annually. Fund compliance officers and fund boards are now quite accustomed to this process.

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Part 3 - Launching a Mutual Fund: Compliance & Regulatory Insights

May 29, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  '40 Act , Regulatory

This three-part series covers not only what it takes to launch a fund, but what it takes to launch a potentially successful fund. If you missed the first two installments, they can be accessed here:

Part 1 – Launching a Mutual Fund: Costs of Success

Part 2 - Launching a Mutual Fund: Top 5 FAQs

In this final post, the compliance and regulatory types of questions regarding a fund launch are answered.

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Part 2 - Launching a ’40 Act Mutual Fund: Top 5 FAQs

May 22, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  '40 Act , Fund Structure

In part 1, we reviewed the considerations for long-term success when launching a fund, not just the immediate costs to organize and operate a fund. In the next two parts, we answer the top 10 questions that are most frequently asked by advisers exploring a mutual fund launch. As with any undertaking of this magnitude, there can be lots of questions and lots of variables to consider. These two blog posts will address typical questions and provide high level answers based on an open-end mutual fund launch.  

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Part 1 - Launching a Mutual Fund: Costs of Success

May 15, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  '40 Act , Distribution

Typically, when an investment adviser thinks about launching a mutual fund, they commonly ask, “How much does it cost to launch a mutual fund?” The more prudent question to ask would be, “How much does it cost to launch a successful mutual fund?”

These days many funds are launched using the series trust structure, which can afford an adviser some efficiencies in organization and operational cost and reduced time to market. Those are certainly important considerations, and we will discuss those in more depth later in the next two successive blog postings. However, to help focus on long-term success, advisers should consider several other factors before they think about the organization and operational costs for a fund. What are those factors?

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