Silica, powered by IRESS, has launched a solution that enables users across the IRESS product suite to electronically access and trade unitised funds from major South African asset and investment managers. This solution removes the pain and paper of investing and drives administration costs down for all players in the value chain-advisers, asset managers and end-clients alike.
The Silica IRESS Funds Trading solution enables the IRESS community to access the Silica platform for Funds Trading by means of the IRESS SmartHub – a global network connecting buy and sell sides, trading destinations, vendors and administrators using IRESS APIs or the standard global FIX protocol. The IRESS SmartHub integrates with Silica’s Graphite interface, a Microsoft cloud-deployed solution that leverages Silica’s transactional order management utility to automate transactions and cash movements.
The Silica IRESS Funds Trading Solution creates an open market where investment managers can seamlessly make their funds available to advisers and investors. It automates every transaction from FICA document verification, new investments and additions, through to fund switching, payments, and fee, client data, and payment.
This makes the trading of funds as fast, efficient and transparent as trading exchange-listed securities. It also enables advisers to offer their clients the broadest range of funds from leading investment managers at the lowest possible cost.
“Sixteen years ago, IRESS spearheaded electronic order routing for exchange-traded securities in the South African market,” said Richard Bell, Executive Manager and Head of Funds Trading at IRESS.
“Now, we are bringing the same level of automation to the unitised sector, enabling advisers to trade any instrument in any market and at any time. They will have a single view of each client’s portfolio in real time, as well as the ability to execute orders instantly without the delays of the past. They will also be able to reduce errors through electronic processing and minimise administration through effortless electronic account opening.”
Daniel Micali, Director at Silica, added: “For investment and asset managers, the benefits of the solution include lower administration costs, improved margins and the ability to access new distribution channels. End-investors, meanwhile, benefit from lower fees and a more streamlined customer experience with less paperwork to be completed. We want to make it as easy for people to invest, save and grow their wealth as it is to apply for a loan.”
The partnership enables advisers and investors to transact electronically with investment managers and their funds without the need for human intervention. Financial advisers and brokers can directly interact with, interrogate and report on data from investment managers’ systems. Cash movements can be facilitated through EFT or direct debits.
Kruger International Asset and Wealth Management, which provides advice and wealth management solutions to private clients, as well as managing funds of its own, is an early adopter of the solution.
“Fees are coming down in the asset management industry and it will become increasingly difficult to compete without using technology to streamline processes,” said Chris Nel, analyst at Kruger International.
“This solution is already helping us to achieve significant efficiencies and reduce human errors in processing transactions. We now have real-time access to accurate data about our clients’ portfolios, as well as the ability to scale up our business to serve more clients more efficiently. This translates into a better client experience and enables us to focus on adding value rather than processing paperwork.”