Sharing data between players in the institutional investor supply chain would help reduce costs from the inefficient duplication of work, a panel agreed.

Data sharing is difficult to implement, however, particularly in the area of investment operations, because of the wide variety of models and timeframes different players use, delegates at the Investment Operations Conference heard.

“There are lots of different approaches being taken – no one size fits all – and that’s the challenge for us as custodians; building data solutions to meet all those different clients on a standalone basis,” Northern Trust senior vice-president, deputy head of sales Asia-Pacific, Angelo Calvitto said.

Deloitte Australia partner, analytics and information management, Melissa Ferrer said reducing the duplication of data across different entities partly comes down to having effective operating models.

“When you are looking at someone outside your organisation, you have got to really build that second operating model [into how you manage the data],” Ferrer explained. “You need to be clear in what the roles are and how the information is going to be transferred and utilised.”

The increasing volume, velocity and variety of data also presents a challenge to sharing. Ferrer predicted the technological revolution would continue as clients and the level of information became more sophisticated.

One company already working with its partners to get better insight into the joint customer base is Challenger.

“That certainly helped us with a number of product design concepts,” Challenger general manager operations David Mackaway said. “For example, with lifetime policies … by getting a whole load of data, we [learned we] can give people an out for the first 15 years, because we now understand they are not likely to have life events in that timeframe.”

Mackaway said the benefits of data sharing were seen in the increased efficiency at government agencies, adding that regulated entities should have access to the work agencies have already done.

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