Daily data: a growing requirement for pension funds

A pension fund need not perhaps take investment decisions every day, but it does have to have figures that are as up to date as possible. Not only due to the unsettled nature of the financial markets, but also to satisfy regulatory requirements. Consequently there is both a clear trend and a growing demand for data on a daily basis, compiled for example in a book of record. A conclusion reached at Northern Trust’s recent annual Dutch Conference with an overwhelming 88% of delegates considering it essential to have access to daily investment data in their role, and only 40% indicating they currently have access to the data they need*.

Prior to this, it was common practice for pension funds to value their assets using the custody platform, based on end-of-month results. In financially settled times, this was usually enough. But it did mean that at some point, the figures could be almost two months old. As Wim van Ooijen, Managing Director of Northern Trust Netherlands said, with a nod to the conference venue – the EYE Film Museum: “We’re freeze-framing film and cutting it up into loose images. But now that the number of frames per second has speeded up so much, we have to do it far more often, and the images have to be pin-sharp. Everyone wants their pension fund to be in control at all times, and to convincingly demonstrate that this is the case.”

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