AFTAs 2017: Best Reporting Initiative—State Street Corporation

2017 AFTAs

From June 2018, the largest registered investment companies—those with net-asset values of over $1 billion—will be required to comply with the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Investment Company Reporting Modernization Rule. Existing forms, such as N-Q and the N-SAR are being replaced with N-PORT and N-CEN. Despite being a drive to bring reporting functions up to date, the requirements are complicated, and compliance deadlines are short. With its reporting tools built on the back of its DataGX platform, State Street has a solution.

“State Street’s DataGX platform was looking to solve for multiple challenges around the new reporting modernization rules,” says Lauren Davides, vice president at State Street. “These challenges include complex data calculations, sourcing, aggregating and cleansing a large amount of data, an accelerated filing deadline and consistent reporting across SEC filings.”

The team at State Street has been working on the tool since the SEC first proposed the reform in the summer of 2015, with the creation of a team to comb through the hundreds of pages of content contained in the rules. Actual development began in Q1 2016 in the bank’s Agile labs and when the rules were finalized in October 2016, State Street was already “well underway” with the tool, Davides explains. 

Client usability is at the heart of the N-PORT/N-CEN Reporting Tool. As such, the team has had a distinct focus on the front-end. The user interface, in particular, is accessible through a web browser, and was built with client input from the very start.

“It is easy for the main contact at a client to assign funds, along with preparers and reviewers. It also offers the flexibility of review since clients can set thresholds for certain line items and the UI will kick out an alert and notify the client when something requires additional review or insight. Another advantage of the UI is that you can export information easily, whether through direct file transfer, Excel or other file formats as requested.”

Clients are currently being onboarded, and interface testing will begin in January 2018, when users will be able to start setting up reviewers, thresholds and other criteria specific to their reporting needs.

Where the real strength of the tool lies though, Davides believes, is in the way it handles data. Other vendors may have off-the-shelf products that are similar, but State Street, she says, goes a step further. “The two most distinguishing factors are that we offer a complete end-to-end solution and enriched data,” she says. “We don’t just accumulate the data to populate Form N-PORT and Form N-CEN—we also enrich the data so that it is correct for SEC reporting.”

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