Standardised due diligence questionnaires that incorporate global industry best practice and are free to users will enable professional fund buyers to get better information from asset managers, delegates at the first Technology Task Force meeting in London heard.
Speaking at the event, held at Aviva’s City HQ, Association of Professional Fund Investors representative JB Beckett said automation of processes through technology and common standards would reduce the need for human intervention in multiple roles – with due diligence of fund selection a potential area for expensive duplication and inefficiency to be removed.
Beckett, who is also chief investment officer of Gemini Investment Management, warned that Fintech was a genuine threat to the traditional asset management model.
APFI is working with a newly established company called DOOR, which is developing a digital portal through which fund information will be made available by the asset managers. The DOOR digital portal is currently in production with an expected launch of Q1 2017. The portal is being built in collaboration between asset managers and fund investors to ensure good coverage of fund information.
JB Beckett, speaking on behalf of APFI said: “Fintech is a 200ft Godzilla looming over the City. For 20 years the asset management industry has been in denial. The City has to fundamentally challenge its biases. There is a great amount of hubris and premium put on the value of human relationships when they are not necessarily good for customer outcomes.
“We are looking at global standards in due diligence and it is apparent humans are very capable of being inefficient. So we are creating a free to use template for fund buyers, pension schemes and trustees. Beckett said global standards would democratise the process for professional fund investors and make the analysis, selection and monitoring of processes more efficient.”