Financial Services technology company Altus says that Straight-Through-Processing (STP) for pensions has moved into the mainstream and the challenge is now one of ‘mopping up’ late adopters.
During ‘The Future of STP for UK Funds’ forum, co-hosted by Altus, SWIFT and Bottomline SMA in May, it became clear that STP has rapidly become a ‘hygiene factor’. The forum, exploring the challenges, benefits and opportunities for STP trading over ISO20022 and SWIFT, featured a line-up of industry experts including representatives from BlackRock, Legal & General, Mercer, Punter Southall, Xafinity and many more.
‘ViaNova support is gathering momentum among smaller administrators and is increasingly seen as a prerequisite for winning new business’ commented Rich Tuff from Mercer who moderated the Pension Scheme panel on the day, ‘I thought it was encouraging to hear that the panel were still happy to devote resources to help late entrants test and adopt STP’.
It was revealed both pension and investment administrators are pushing for greater adoption from each other and uptake appears to have doubled since the beginning of 2010. ‘The immediate benefit to clients of Punter Southall of an automated approach is a reduction in administrative effort’ recent adopter and panellist David Watkins from Punter Southall commented, ‘More important, however, is the reduction in risk as well as an improved service to clients by providing a faster and more frequent transaction cycle’.
Altus Products Director, Ben Cocks commented ‘Altus takes a broad view of STP and tailors its products towards consistent, well-controlled and automated end-to-end processes. The Altus Funds Gateway (AFG) and Altus Instruction Gateway (AIG) automate the whole investment process and are designed to minimise the impact on the existing system landscape for ease of deployment. Ultimately our aim is to deliver greater efficiencies and reduced risk. All signs seem to indicate that pension and investment administrators are now on the same page.’