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GAIA industry group announces automated messaging solution for alternative investment funds
September 28, 2015
The Global Alternative Investment Automation (GAIA) group has today announced the creation of a new operational messaging framework for Alternative Investment Funds. The first flows being tested are for subsequent orders and reporting, with initial tests running smoothly. Significantly, these messages have been built with a business focused approach able to be carried across a variety of messaging infrastructures. This allows firms to use the same ISO20022 messaging formats they use today for mutual fund messaging.
These message formats have been published today on www.gaiastandard.org . GAIA will now focus on finalising the testing and on promoting the widespread use of these messages across the industry. As a next step, GAIA intends to look into additional flows that would benefit from automation.
GAIA was formed in August 2014 and consists of seven leading alternative fund administrators, custodians and infrastructures under the facilitation of Idea Group. The group aims to bring automation and best practices to operational messaging flows within the global alternative investment industry. Until now, these processes relied on faxes or other manual methods, which are inefficient and do not take advantage of modern technology.
Senior representatives from some of the GAIA member firms gave the following comments;
Bill Gourlay, CEO of Idea Group (facilitators of GAIA) stated: “The lack of proper message automation in the alternatives space has been a problem for many years, and has defeated a number of former initiatives. We are delighted that GAIA has successfully found a way of not only meeting this challenge, but of also bringing together traditional and alternative funds into the same messaging structure”.
Bernard Tancré, Executive Director Investment Fund Services Clearstream, stated: "Clearstream's participation in the development of this new operational messaging framework is part of our longstanding standardisation and automation efforts for the investment fund industry. The GAIA initiative provides market participants with a single set of message usage definitions for all types of fund transactions and will boost the industry-wide shift from fax to SWIFT messaging. Following the opening of our hedge fund processing centre in Ireland, this industry-wide collaboration is another way in which we at Clearstream are fast-tracking our standardisation initiatives in the alternative fund space."
Ann Bergin, Managing Director & General Manager Wealth Management Services of DTCC, stated: “Standardization will help the alternative investment industry tremendously, and we’re happy to be a part of this effort. We’ve seen the benefits of standardization first hand with the implementation of our Alternative Investment Products platform, which is utilized by 400 legal entities and has centralized the processing of over 100 million transactions to date. Standardization provides efficiency and scalability, which are critical to support broader accessibility and the projected dramatic growth in the alternatives markets”.
Jo Van de Velde, Head of Product Management of Euroclear, stated: “In close co-operation with fellow partners of the GAIA industry task force, we have tackled a major processing challenge, head on. In providing the infrastructure for standardised and harmonised messaging we are bringing the hedge fund industry to a more streamlined, efficient and less costly post trade environment. We look forward to continuing our efforts with the group, as we jointly address areas of concern that need to be overcome in order to grow the alternative investments fund sector.