UBS Financial Services is preparing to launch a test of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation's managed accounts service and the recently introduced MAS Portal.
DTCC's managed accounts service operates as a central communications infrastructure, allowing investment managers, programme sponsors and service providers to electronically exchange information throughout the life of a managed account through a single link.
By eliminating redundant and expensive proprietary connections, the economics of the product are improved.
"One of the biggest issues for an investment manager is that every broker/dealer they work with has their own system, or their own way of doing business, so obtaining information on accounts is difficult and lengthy," says Marianne Leone, UBS Financial Services executive director. "Standardizing the process will be an incredible benefit for all participants and remove significant operational expenses."
UBS joined DTCC's managed accounts service last October.
"UBS's commitment to launch this test is a welcome endorsement of a true industry solution that we've been working on for quite some time," says Ann Bergin, managing director and general manager, DTCC wealth management services. "We are optimistic that UBS's adoption of the hub and the MAS Portal will help them and their investment manager partners conduct business much more effectively. As the efficiencies become tangible, I expect the momentum to build."
The first stage of the test will include transmitting messages related to account openings, trade authorizations, trade acceptances and rejections, restrictions, terminations, deposits, withdrawals and trade activity between UBS and their investment managers.
During the second stage UBS will use MAS Portal in parallel with its existing proprietary system - UBS Manager Link - feeding information into both and then comparing the data.
When the test ends in January 2010, UBS plans to migrate to the MAS Portal with those investment managers who have committed to go live with the portal. UBS expects to retire Manager Link once its investment managers partners have converted to the portal.
Among the investment manager firms who will test with UBS include: Neuberger Berman; Wells Fargo; UBS Global Asset Management; Oak Ridge; Dryfus; Eagle Asset Management; Flippin, Bruce & Porter; Franklin Templeton Investments; Invesco; Thornburg Investment Management; and Moody Aldrich Partners.
UBS currently has business arrangements with 173 investment managers in their single and dual contract managed account programmes.