BNP Paribas Securities Services developing next-generation fund distribution platform

21 April 2017   Category: News, Asia, Global, France   By Asia Asset Management

Global custodian and securities services provider BNP Paribas Securities Services is partnering with fellow French firm AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) in the co-design phase of a project to develop a next-generation digital fund distribution platform.

The platform – BNP Paribas Fund Link – aims to facilitate the flow of information between fund buyers and sellers via blockchain and smart contract technology to make the fund distribution process easier and more efficient.

In an April 20 statement, Joseph Pinto, chief operating officer of AXA IM, which had 717 billion euros (US$771.38 billion) in AUM as of December 31, says: “We are excited to work with BNP Paribas Securities Services on the development of this new platform. Operational efficiency is a key area for us in an increasingly competitive market environment where pressure on fees keeps rising.”

One of the platform’s main objectives is to speed up the onboarding process for both fund buyers and asset managers. According to the statement, fund buyers using BNP Paribas Fund Link will only have to upload their profile and investor onboarding documents once. This information will then be shared easily with the various management companies on the platform.

In addition, the statement says BNP Paribas Fund Link aims to improve the process of buying and selling funds thanks to an efficient end-to-end trade execution solution relying on embedded business rules and shared information. This, it states, will allow for efficient control and transparency of the distribution chain while removing unnecessary delays and reconciliation costs.

“There are so many new and exciting ways technology can enhance the fund distribution process. With this platform, we aim to bring many of them together to streamline fund distribution, create efficiencies, and ultimately lower client costs,” notes Jean Devambez, head of product and client solutions, asset and fund services, at BNP Paribas Securities Services. “A key ambition has been to ensure the new platform helps asset managers meet the demands of new regulations, such as MiFID II [update to Europe’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, due to come into force in January 2018], which will demand higher levels of transparency around the fund sales process.”

The statement also says that BNP Paribas Fund Link’s powerful analytics tools will help investors explore fund data to compare and select funds, and fund managers to fine-tune their distribution. It adds that BNP Paribas Securities Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BNP Paribas Group, will soon open the project to other clients.