iFAST Financial, first Singapore distributor to go live for electronic fund order routing over Calastone

NEWS | 27 June 2012
London

Calastone, the independent cross-border fund messaging transaction network is pleased to announce that iFAST Financial, Singapore’s premier financial advisor platform, has begun processing electronic fund orders via the Calastone network. The first electronic orders into Singapore-domiciled funds were successfully processed with Aberdeen Asset Management Asia using the ISO 20022 standard. This is the first Singapore-domiciled fund to go live on Calastone, and the first ever automated trade received into Aberdeen Singapore funds.

Calastone is the only transaction venue where the global fund industry can meet to send and receive fund order messages, irrespective of their size, geographic location, preferred messaging protocol or technology. Whatever the preferred communication method of each participant, Calastone’s transaction network standardises all messages into the ISO 20022 format, enabling the industry to become fully automated throughout the trading lifecycle. Calastone’s open approach to connectivity provides a proven method to help the investment fund industry benefit from the efficiencies and service improvements that automation can bring.

Bringing together key market players to automate their investment funds transactions is made possible by offering flexible technology and industry operability. Joining the Calastone transaction network is straightforward and does not require additional costly technology. Single point of entry to the market via Calastone is seamless and industry developments, such as the movement to ISO messaging standard, are easily accommodated by the network, regardless of incumbent infrastructures.

Lim Chung Chun, Chairman and CEO of iFAST Corporation Pte Ltd said, "iFAST’s mission is to help investors around the world invest globally and profitably. We constantly look to adopt win-win solutions for all our stakeholders, which is why adopting Calastone’s innovative solution was an easy decision for us as it further increases efficiencies, helps us reduce costs and improves service levels to our clients and investors. We are convinced that Calastone’s flexible technology and business model will revolutionise the way investment funds are processed in the Singapore market. Joining Calastone was an easy decision for our firm and we are certain that it will also be for any fund house wishing to improve their investors’ experience when buying into their funds."

Also connecting to Calastone is Aberdeen Asset Management Asia. Aberdeen’s Head of Investor Services Asia Pacific, Matthew Yong, said, "Aberdeen had been using Calastone’s transaction network without a hitch since 2010 in the UK, Continental Europe, Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Adopting Calastone’s order routing in Singapore was a logical next step."

Matthew Yong added, "Straight-through processing lowers the risk of transaction errors inherent in manual paper-based systems. From that standpoint alone, moving to this platform is in the interest of every party-fund manager, distributor and client alike. We are hopeful that with iFAST’s lead, other local banks and distributors will soon follow."

Sebastien Chaker, a Managing Director at Calastone with responsibility for Asia, said, "Aberdeen and their transfer agent RBC Dexia IS Singapore have played a key role in driving this automation initiative with us as they strongly believe that automation is a key component in providing top level client service to their customers. I am not surprised that an innovative and client-oriented firm such as iFAST has been the first distributor in Singapore to go live on our network and allow their clients to benefit from the best technology and service levels available today when making investments into funds."

Senanayake Diana, Managing Director of RBC Dexia IS in Singapore commented on the news, "We have been working very closely with Aberdeen, Calastone, iFAST and several local distributors to promote this exciting new automation initiative in Singapore. As one of the leading global transfer agents, we have been at the forefront of the drive for automation in the fund market in recent years, and what Calastone provides is a substantial initiative, leading the industry towards that goal. It is an easy way to increase efficiency and service levels and dramatically reduce risk – benefits which will be passed on to our clients and ultimately to the end investor."

Sebastien added, "Over the years there have been a number of failed attempts to automate fund orders in the Singapore market, which is renowned to be highly reliant on manual processing. In less than six months, Calastone has managed to connect electronically two major fund players in Singapore and we are in the final stages of going live with five additional local fund distributors and several other Singapore fund houses in the coming weeks. The appetite for the use of Calastone’s service has grown rapidly due to a number of beneficial factors, including minimal IT resources to connect, time-to-market and access to a large number of cross-border fund houses distributing in Singapore. We expect the Singapore market will quickly embrace this new technology together with the savings and transparency it brings."

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Julia Streets / Abby Munson
Streets Consulting 
+44 (0)20 7959 2235