The DTCC is currently helping the FIX organizations move to expand the FIX protocol to include mutual fund data fields. Although well-suited for equities, and now fixed income, FIX does not currently include fields and data definitions for elements found in mutual fund trading, like Net Asset Values. According to Dwight Arthur, managing director, DTCC, there isnt currently an effective way to communicate mutual fund data via FIX, and the industry utility is interested in supporting the protocols ability to do so.
Im involved in an effort to propose an expansion of the FIX protocol to accommodate mutual funds, Arthur says. At the moment, FIX is missing a lot of data fields necessary to do mutual fund processing. As we go through this effort, we will be defining a number of data fields. For example, Net Asset Value, a critical, fundamental concept in mutual funds is not currently handled by any (financial messaging) protocols. We will be identifying what it means, how its calculated, and proposing the addition of that as a field to the FIX protocol, and by extension, to FIXML.
Arthur adds that DTCC will also be working with ISITC, simultaneously, on adding these mutual fund data fields to the ISO15022 data field dictionary, which is quickly becoming the bible of financial transaction definitions. The addition to the ISO15022 dictionary will avail the field and its underlying definitions to any other trade communication protocol available, like FPML and FINXML.
Arthur stresses that this is a preliminary standards initiative currently unrelated to NSCCs mutual funds products. As a result of the integration between the DTC and the NSCC, NSCC is the division that markets the organizations mutual funds products.
The FIX Protocol Organization has been working hard for the past year to expand the use of FIX, which is widely used for the trade communication of equities, to other financial instruments. The industry consortium just released its most recent upgrade, version 4.2, which has come to include many more data fields to accommodate fixed-income products.