Regulatory approval of Eaton Vance's non-transparent ETF has its industry competitors closely studying its offering to determine how its proposal succeeded where others failed, and whether they need to develop and offer their own version.
Fund managers need to focus on more than the strategies they intend to execute. They must also structure their funds and organizations in ways that address both increasing regulation and investors' concerns about the safekeeping of assets.
Concerns about an over-proliferation of ETFs, curiosity regarding how market demand will shape product innovation and questions about the direction of regulation are expected to punctuate discussions among those attending the 19th annual IMN global Indexing and ETF Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., that begins on Dec. 7.
Supplying Chinese equity demand is not a simple process of deciding to launch an ETF product, providers say. There are a number of operational challenges that a firm must navigate to make the offering available, including managing a complex system of global exchange that involves precise timings and potential risks for clients.
The SEC's changes in July to Rule 2a-7 governing money market funds may be simple in concept - but they will require significant changes in fund operations. Fund transfer agents and other service providers must significantly reengineer their processes to comply with the new rules between now and 2016, when the most significant changes take effect.
While IT budgets at buy-side firms have not fully recovered from the cutbacks of the Great Recession, front-office demands keep growing in quantity, complexity and required speed of response.
During the crisis of 2008, service providers faced an environment in which they saw their clients' assets decline sharply.
Executives at mutual fund companies, asset management companies and support providers rated client reporting--which included any reporting that is created for the purpose of distribution to clients--as their top challenge followed closely by risk management in Money Management Executive's third annual Operations Survey.
Fund sponsors have long debated the relative merits of building, buying or outsourcing fund administration technology. As sponsors face more and more data-driven demands from regulators and investors, there is increased pressure to adopt new efficient technologies for fund administration process such as expense payments and budgeting, regulatory reporting and financial reporting. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the "build, buy or outsource" question a mix of cost pressures, resources, reporting requirements and technological advances have tipped the balance in favor of "buy" and "outsource."
These are stressful times for the mutual fund industry. An obvious statement, but one authored by a colleague ten years ago. Even more interesting is that the trends cited then are the same concerns that we hear from clients today. So what has changed?