Fundipedia is a web-based user-configurable database that has an architecture that is suited to the products of the asset management industry.
Out of the box Fundipedia is designed to accommodate funds, share classes, mandates, managers, risks and other objects that have data associated with them.
It has the capacity to store all types of information about an investment product – text, numbers, dates, images and documents and the user can add new data items at any time. The data is secure, with banking standard encryption and with users only having rights to view, edit or approve products and data items to which they have explicitly been given permission.
As much of the data is human generated, any changes to any data item go through a "four eyes" procedure and a full audit trail is maintained. The system is multi-lingual with support for all character sets, from Latin through Chinese.
Peter Drucker, a well-regarded management consultant, wrote in 1988 that: "The typical business [of the future] will be knowledge-based... the management of knowledge and information becomes a key to gaining competitive advantage." In this regard the asset management industry is at an early stage of development, but as it matures the need for effective control and management of product information will likely become a competitive differentiator.
It is in the nature of the products of the asset management industry that they have no physical form. Consequently, in order for firms to communicate what they are selling and for clients to know what they are buying there are many items of information that must be created, stored, distributed and managed over time.
Some of this information will make up the non-standard parts of a prospectus, or a mandate. Other elements will be used for marketing material such as a “Factsheet”. Further items will support regulatory requirements such as the KIID (Key Investor Information Document) for UCITS funds. The actual fund managers will likely store some terms to define what they can invest in, compliance might be responsible for confirming the set of risks that a particular mandate exposes the investor to, the risk team will keep track of risk limits, product development oversee the investment objectives and charges, legal keep track of registrations and counterparties, while the operations team will maintain key characteristics that enable them to carry out their function.
Typically, taking account of the product related information stored and managed by all the different departments, there are several hundred items of information that relate to an investment product.
A proportion of this information will be computer generated, for example a NAV (Net Asset Value). Fundipedia can store such information but its particular strength is its capacity for assisting with the maintenance of human generated data. Here there are challenges for a firm in that the data will historically have been maintained in many different spreadsheets each managed by the team that is closest to a given data set. A common problem with this approach is being able to find the spreadsheet with the most up to date and accurate information. A consequence is that much time is wasted by staff hunting round for the correct data.
Not only is it advantageous to be easily able to find correct current information about an investment product, it is essential that data be accurate when communicating the characteristics of a product to third parties. As well as clients having need of product related data, there has been the proliferation of services designed to collect together a set of fund data for distribution to prospective clients. As there is no standardisation between the data requirements of the various data aggregators, the asset managers need to maintain slightly different versions of certain descriptive data items in order to service the distribution network, adding again to the count of data items to be maintained.
Fundipedia helps by creating a single master source of all data with the ability to transform the data to meet the requirements of different third parties.
Where a third party has an API (“Application Programming Interface”) so that direct computer to computer data transmission is possible, such as with the Morningstar MPS service, Fundipedia allows for the instant update of the third party service without human intervention. Where the third party requires a large amount of data in a particular form, such as with the FundsLibrary service, Fundipedia automatically produces spreadsheets in the required upload format, so ensuring accuracy while minimising human workload.Find out more Fundipedia is produced by Atlas Ltd and marketed by Consulting for Asset Management Ltd who take sole responsibility for all statements herein. References to any third parties are for the purposes of communicating the capabilities of the Fundipedia system and do not indicate a commercial relationship with those third parties
There is no need to specify the data requirements before getting started. New categories and items of information can be added at any time. Typically one or two users, probably from the product development, marketing or customer support team, are nominated as administrators and are trained in managing the system. Being easy to use and web-based, Fundipedia places few demands on the IT team.Find out more
There is no practical limit to the number of items of information that can be maintained nor the number of users who can view it. It is designed so that firms can start with a small application and grow big to an enterprise wide data store without any change to the software.Find out more
The ability to integrate with third party data distributors or to allow clients partial access to Fundipedia reduces workload for firm staff while raising customer satisfaction, reducing costs with the potential for higher sales.Find out more