Two years after acquiring it, Computershare claims to have integrated the TrustArchitect unit registry system into its wider share registry platform, and now wants to shake up the fragmented business of record-keeping for managed funds by chasing the 60 per cent market share it enjoys in share registry.
Computershare has hooked TrustArchitect into the workflow, web and call centre applications which sit behind its share registry platform, which serves 100 million investors worldwide and locally has managed $28 billion of corporate transactions in the last 12 months.
With 100,000 unitholders accounting for $6 billion funds under management, Computershare senior manager Chris Bain admits the group “would not even be 3 per cent” of the Australian unit registry market, which is still fragmented into funds managers using internal proprietary systems, and custodians, some of which have been dragged into the business as a condition of a wider backoffice outsourcing relationship with a manager.
However, Bain said that to the “older heads” at Computershare, “unit registry today smells a lot like share registry used to do” – which is to say when issuers managed their registers in-house or through a plethora of third-party administrators on proprietary or ageing vendor systems.
As Computershare subsequently became in share registry, Bain said unit registry desperately required a “scale player” to bring better technology and associated efficiency dividends.
“The figure that nobody in funds management wants to talk about is the $70 to $90 a year it costs every investor in every managed fund just to maintain their records,” Bain said, adding this situation would probably not be sustainable in the wake of the Cooper Review.