Data Standards Working Group documents

Proposal Coordinated by IMAP

Industry Working Group: Develop Model Data Definition Standard


With the rapid growth of managed accounts in the Financial Services Industry, model data is
being electronically distributed between all participants. However, no standard is in place for
the definition or formats for this data. As such, bespoke development is needed for integration
and variability occurs between the different sources. This leads to greater risk of error and
higher cost of integration.

Platforms and other managed account have developed proprietary approaches to the
provision of model data to them. Managers report finding it difficult to meet these varying data
requirements.

These challenges will increase as the number of managed account services increases.
Other industries have already developed standard data transfer formats, with planning
software being an adjacent market example of widespread adoption of a single industry wide
standard.

Since managed accounts are still a relatively new market, this seems the right time to
establish a common standard.

IMAP is proposing to convene a representative working group from interested parties in order
to deliver efficiencies to the industry.

A representative from your organisation would be entitled to participate in meetings, supply
relevant information and documentation, and to review working papers from the initiative.

Each member of the working group will be able to ensure that the business use of model data
within their organisation is considered in the development of the standard.
The standard would not be binding but would provide a useful incentive to prevent further
proliferation in proprietary specifications.

The proposed scope of the Working Group includes the following considerations;

1. Objectives

To gain agreement from key industry participants – including platforms, research providers,
investment managers and technology providers – of common data specifications and
processes relating to managed accounts.


2. Process

Gain sufficient agreement from industry participants to make the working group financially
affordable and likely to produce a standard with an acceptable level of acceptance
IMAP will provide current examples of data specs and processes, together with some
representative specs from other related areas or other international markets
IMAP will provide “straw man” proposals for data to be included and file types including:
 - Model weight files
 - Performance data files
 - Model information and narrative files


Nominated representatives of participants will meet to form a working group charged with:
 a) Confirming scope of the data standard
 b) Agreeing a proposed timetable for development and publication
 c) Setting out participant objectives
 d)  Developing the data file specifications
 e) Identifying any additional areas where data standards would be relevant
 f) Reporting to broader managed account community

Other questions which may be considered include:

Mandatory and optional data fields required for each file

Acceptable investment identification systems e.g. SEDOL, APIR, exchange codes

File formats – CSV, XML other standard file transfer methodologies

Treatment of model variants i.e. where a model mirrors a master model but with specific
adjustment

Treatment of performance of “notional” models compared to aggregate real data based
portfolios

Conformity with ASIC regulation on publication of performance

Role of AIMR / GIPS performance standards

Definition and distribution of model qualitative material such as risk profile, relative
benchmarks/indexes, financial performance objectives, limitations and exclusions to
investments, periodic commentary such as security or asset class change, monthly /
quarterly commentary used in the Model

History of a model with regard its composition, weights, and performance

Availability and distribution of target weights vs current actual weights

Potential for the establishment of an industry wide unique model ID for a model similar to
APIR codes

The development of an Industry register for use by all in addition to the Data Definition
Standard.

Potential participants
 Platforms
 Managed account providers
 Investment managers
 Technology providers
 Research houses

This Working Group can only be effective with a broad participation of the industry
participants inclusive of Investment Managers, Platforms, Dealer Groups and Technology
Vendors. We urge you to help us in our efforts to bring greater efficiency to the market we
work within.

Expressions of interest for participation are being sought. There will be a modest cost to
participants to cover the cost of organisation and coordination.

This is estimated at $1500 plus GST per participant to cover a 12 month development period.

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