NewRiver - creators of the leading central repository of mutual fund documents and data for financial services firms - today announced the immediate release of Prospectus Express 2.0, the latest version of the industry's only Web-based SEC-compliant document warehouse, which now includes Unit Investment Trust (UIT) prospectuses.
For the last 10 years, brokerage firms, individual variable annuity and retirement plan providers have had access to a "layered disclosure" regime of compliance documents (prospectuses, supplements, semi-annual and annual reports, and statements of additional information) for every open-end mutual fund, exchange traded funds, variable annuity, and variable life product sold in the United States. Leveraging Prospectus Express, firms can provide their investors with the most accurate and up-to-date online prospectus documents, enabling them to improve productivity at the point of sale, increase operations efficiency in the back office and reduce costly overhead related to paper document fulfillment while greatly improving delivery time.
Driven by the industry's support of environmentally friendly paper reduction initiatives and the SEC's proposed Summary Prospectus Rule, NewRiver is growing its Prospectus Express platform beyond traditional mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) to now include UIT prospectuses. As the company's increasing number of e-delivered prospectuses grew from 3 million to 6 million in the past year, firms are clearly accelerating their efforts to offer electronic mutual fund and other prospectuses as a way to cost-effectively improve the investors' experience while offering a real alternative to the environmental impact of paper-only delivery.
The pending Summary Prospectus Rule from the SEC promises to reduce paper delivery by allowing a 3 to 4 page document to be delivered instead of a traditional 30 to 40 page statutory prospectus. This proposed rule is primarily designed to standardize fund information and facilitate easier cross fund comparison. Investors who want more detail as contained in the traditional statutory prospectus will be able to do so easily through "layered disclosure." This feature uses hyperlinks to point investors from the summary prospectus to the more detailed sectiontions of the statutory prospectus. The environmentally friendly rule will also have the added benefit of drastically reducing the costs associated with printing, postage and waste associated with traditional prospectus mailings.
"The implementation of the summary prospectus means that for the first time in close to 70 years, since the Investment Company Act of 1940, the rules of mutual fund disclosure are changing to better serve the interests of the investor," says Russ Planitzer, President and CEO of NewRiver. "Extending Prospectus Express' e-delivery and layered disclosure functionality to include institutional investment vehicles such as UITs puts NewRiver at the center of this revolutionary industry change."