The Securities Industry Association, in an effort to encourage current-pricing availability for investors, has proposed a hard close at the intermediary level for mutual-fund trades. In a comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SIA recommended a strict time-stamping technology to be used by the intermediary to maintain the hard 4 p.m. close. The technology would be similar to the NASD's Order Audit Trail System for Nasdaq securities, says the letter, which required member firms to electronically capture and record orders in hours, minutes and seconds on synchronized business clocks. According to the letter, "the SIA recommendation would eliminate the inadequacies of the current time-stamping system, and create a readily auditable order trail, while avoiding the significant adverse consequences of an earlier order cutoff time."
Investment professionals are the targets of a new Web-based billing system from New York City-based Lync.NET. The investment-technology vendor has launched Billing 2004, a tool for automating the billing cycle at period end. The product includes automation of fee calculation and invoice production, integration and reporting via an open Microsoft SQL database, and a Web browser for centralized processing and accessibility. In addition, the tool can incorporate billing for account/family, tiered, flat fee and tiered asset class. Billing 2004 also has rules-based cash-flow structures, and one-off credits, debits and discounts. It can upload fee data to custodians, and integrate with back-office systems, Microsoft Outlook, QuickBooks 2004 and PackMan 2003.
Dutch asset manager, Brenca B.V., has announced its intent to migrate to DST International's HiPortfolio/3 platform over the next year. Brenca, which advises and manages assets for Dutch pension fund, Provisum, as well as a private group of European investors, will be one of the first firms to install the latest version of the Surrey, U.K.-based vendor's back-office product stream. Brenca's controller, Frank Meeboer, says the firm expects to gain more reliable data through enhanced reporting capabilities, customized user-interface screens, and simplified menu navigation, according to a statement.
London-based Beauchamp Financial Technology has released an ASP version of its FundManager solution. Called Equity FundManager, the solution is targeted at U.S. an offshore hedge-fund managers with equity portfolios. The solution includes trading, portfolio-management and electronic-connectivity functionality for prime brokers and fund administrators. It can be managed with just an Internet connection, claims the vendor, accessible using a secured and authenticated Citrix session.