Calastone, the global messaging and settlement transaction network for the mutual fund industry, announces it has extended access of its Swift Bureau services to the defined contribution pensions industry, free of charge.
The first two clients to benefit from this new service are Aon Hewitt and Baillie Gifford.
Connecting via the ViaNova message standard, the agreed industry standard for data exchange, participant firms will benefit from access to Calastone's full range of SWIFT Bureau services without the significant investment of maintaining their own SWIFT infrastructure or managing multiple bank relationships. Calastone will host participants' BICs (Bank Identifier Codes) or allow participants to utilise Calastone's own BIC, helping those connected to Calastone to reduce their connectivity and messaging costs.
Philip Dickinson, Business Solutions Director at Aon Hewitt, said: "We are very excited to have joined Calastone's SWIFT Bureau service. It was important to us that we found a SWIFT bureau which could deliver a cost-effective, transaction-based service to enable us to route orders to all our fund managers using the ViaNova message set."
Keith Guthrie, Head of New Technologies at Baillie Gifford, said: "The transition to Calastone's SWIFT Bureau service has been seamless and we look forward to achieving immediate operational and risk efficiencies. It is in everyone's interest to welcome greater efficiencies in the defined contribution pensions industry. We are delighted that Calastone were able to bring us live with our institutional clients within one calendar month of opening negotiations."
Edward Glyn, Director - Funds, EMEA at SWIFT commented "The number of corporate pension transactions is rising and this, coupled with the advent of new workplace pension solutions and wrap platforms, means that SWIFT is seeing a further wave of interest in the benefits of ISO 20022 ViaNova messaging. Clients are even more keen to achieve the choice, speed, value and transparency afforded by automation. We are therefore delighted that Calastone has extended its offering to allow pension fund managers and corporate pension administrators to seamlessly trry transact with one another over SWIFTNet."
Kevin Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Calastone, said: "We have invested heavily in a SWIFT infrastructure and by opening up our SWIFT Bureau to the corporate pensions industry we are enabling them to access our ever-growing base of participants. The provision of direct access to our SWIFT bureau environment not only removes a link in the chain but also helps our customers reduce their costs. Calastone is continually looking for ways in which to make order-handling and post-trade services more efficient."
Calastone's experience in processing and translating any message set or protocol and delivering the message in the format of a counterpart's choice, removes the need for manual processing, reduces operational risk and enables counterparties to connect and communicate in a more efficient way. This approach to translation and interoperability enables all participants to enjoy straight-through-processing irrespective of size or technology capabilities.