Calastone, the global messaging and settlement transaction network today announced that it has successfully completed the first hedge fund transactions using the Swift SHarP (Swift Hedge Funds Harmonisation Pilot) ISO 20022 suite of messages.
Veritas Asset Management, the independent fund manager is one of the first firms to use Calastone's hedge fund service. Veritas' distributors will be able to send electronic fund subscription and redemption orders for Veritas' UCITS offerings into Calastone and these will be processed using the SHarP message technology.
The new SHarP ISO 20022 message suite has been designed to address the specific requirements of the global hedge fund industry and aims to bring greater processing efficiencies and allow the entire hedge fund industry to transact electronically. Calastone's considerable experience in processing and translating FIX, ISO 20022, ISO 15022 and XML messages removes the need for manual processing, reduces operational risk and enables counterparties to connect and communicate in a more efficient way without a change in existing infrastructure. By connecting to Calastone using the SHarP message set, Transfer Agents and global custodians will be able to automate their trading in hedge funds, one of the last areas of automation in the financial community.
Kevin Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Calastone, said, "We continue to identify new ways to help overcome industry inconsistencies and reap the benefits of automation of order processing. For too long, mutual fund transactions have involved inefficient manual processing and automation has been the preserve of the largest firms with the biggest technology budgets. We believe in an open model which benefits firms wherever their location or size and seek ways in which firms trading mutual funds can continue to reduce their operating costs. Ultimately this can only benefit the end- investor."
Richard Grant, COO of Veritas added, "Calastone's ability to connect the entire funds market, both traditional and hedge without having to invest in costly technology infrastructure not only brings us cost efficiencies but also increases STP levels significantly, a key consideration for many of ouoour clients. We applaud Calastone for being the first mutual fund transaction network to handle the SHarP messaging protocol."
Arun Aggarwal, Managing Director SWIFT UKI Nordics, added, "This is an example of a prime cross- industry collaboration focused on the client experience and investing into alternatives. With RDR and UCITS IV on the horizon, the SHarP ISO 20022 message suite can improve firms global operating models to enable end-to-end transparency and STP scale throughout the lifecycle of a hedge fund investment."