Calastone has developed a distribution statement message service that will, it says, cut out the need for “clunky and slow” fax, post and email processes between fund managers and investors.
Calastone Australia's managing director, Shannon Bernasconi, said the automation of distributions would benefit “all parts of the value chain”.
End investors will benefit from the flow-on effects of cost savings, while SMSF investors in particular will benefit from the lowered costs of holding these kinds of assets, she said.
“There are more than 2,700 Australian funds on the [Asia Pacific Investment Register], with an average of approximately 1,300 holdings per platform or custodian,” said Ms Bernasconi.
“Each individual holding has to have its year-end income and tax statement accounted for, involving manually keying in tax components and income data – sometimes many times over at different stages of the process.”
The process costs the industry as much as $35 per holding at each year-end, which is a “huge cost”, Ms Bernasconi said.
“When you examine the process it’s easy to see why managed funds have the reputation – fairly or not – of being clunky and slow at year-end,” she said.
“Automation offers reputational benefits for the funds, and very significant cost and risk benefits for platforms and custodians.”
Calastone’s distribution service will be available from December 2014 for income information, and for tax information from March 2015.