Money Management Executive, a SourceMedia publication for executives in the asset management industry, today announced the winners of the 8th Annual 2010 Fund Operations Awards. The awards were presented during the National Investment Company Service Association’s General Membership Meeting in Boston.
This year’s awards program recognized achievements in three categories—Visionary Leadership, Innovation in Customer Service and Attaining Back Office Efficiencies and Streamlining Operations. The awards are co-sponsored by NICSA, which provides educational programming and information for the operations sector of the global investment industry. The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges.
“While many investors’ attention is rightly focused on the global economy and market conditions, it’s important and reassuring to take a moment to recognize the less-visible, but still crucial work being done by asset managers on their behalf,” said Michael Stanton, EVP and Managing Director of SourceMedia’s Capital Markets Group. “The winning companies are embracing new technologies and business models to boost efficiency and transparency—and enhance shareholder value.”
In the visionary leadership category, Donald J. Boteler, Vice President of Operations and Continuing Education at the Investment Company Institute, received top honors. Other winners were John Hancock Funds President and CEO Keith F. Hartstein and Gemini Fund Services CEO Michael Miola.
Honorees for innovation in customer service were led by Franklin Templeton Investments’ Senior Vice President of Global Client Marketing David M. McSpadden. DST Systems’ SalesConnect team won second place and PNC and MetLife Broker-Dealer Services rounded out the field.
Serving as this year’s judges were: T. Neil Bathon, Founder, FUSE Research Network; Geoffrey H. Bobroff, President, Bobroff Consulting, Inc. and Independent Chairman, Matthews Asia Funds; George Gorman, Board Director, NICSA; Charlie O’Neill, President, Diversified Management Resources; and Kathleen Whalen, Managing Director, Dalbar, Inc.
About the Winners
Donald J. Boteler, vice president of operations and continuing education at the Investment Company Institute, has spent the past 25 years working on critical operational issues facing the U.S. mutual fund industry including: accounting and pricing, custody, clearance and settlement, transfer agency and shareholder servicing. Prior to joining the ICI in 1986, Boteler, a CPA and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, served on the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management for five years.
Under the leadership of President and Chief Executive Officer Keith F. Hartstein, John Hancock Funds has emerged as an industry leader in fund adoptions. They require a shareholder proxy, the filing of a shell fund by the acquiring company and subsequent merger of funds. Through the fund adoption process, John Hancock went from offering seven four- and five-star rated funds in 2004 to a portfolio of 17 funds rated in the top two categories today.
NorthStar Financial Services Group, a strategic partner/consultant to Gemini Fund Services, nominated Chief Executive Officer Michael Miola to the Visionary Leadership category in recognition of his work as an innovator in the mutual fund services since the early 1980s. Miola was an industry first to develop non-mainframe accounting and transfer agency systems. Miola’s latest vision is transforming the distributor into a sales process facilitator assisting advisers in raising assets.
Franklin Templeton Investments nominated Senior Vice President, Global Client Marketing David McSpadden for the Innovation in Customer Service category to recognize “his captivating vision and innovative approach to engaging our customers. With responsibility for global client marketing—from campaigns to e-mail to the web—McSpadden has designed innovative, customer-focused communications and media to proactively, responsibly and thoughtfully engage our customers and shareholders around the world.”
DST Systems’ SalesConnect team leverages its Universal Dealer database to reconcile trades and deliver updated firm, office and representative information to both the transfer agent and distributor organizations within a fund company. Integrated with DST’s TA2000 recordkeeping platform, the offering eliminates redundant efforts and data discrepancies, enabling the internal TA to better support operational needs of broker/dealers, and sales managers to better service distribution partners.
In 2009, MetLife Broker-Dealer Group and PNC introduced Fund Management Services (FMS), a revolutionary online platform that enables financial advisers to provide advisory services to investors who make a minimum investment of $10,000. By using a simplified investment product design, straight-through processing, proprietary algorithms and scalable technology, MetLife and PNC succeeded in “democratizing” financial advice and bringing a financial service once only available to high-net-worth individuals to a new market. Since its launch, new customer acquisition has grown 300%.
In 2009, Putnam Investments converted its internal shareholder recordkeeping system to an outsourced system and exceeded all service performance goals, including: meeting and exceeding 17 internal service standards, winning Dalbar Awards in five programs and achieving a National Quality Review five-star quality rating. Restructuring also entailed pooling agents via intelligent call routing, partnering with a vendor to consolidate facilities and reduce costs, and successfully using part-time college interns. The end result was a 25% reduction in staffing and savings of $20 million.
John Hancock Signature Services has created a new web-based application that automates the monthly and quarterly dividend process and allows historical data queries to assist with monthly fund audits. It ensures accuracy of critical financial data while delivering enhanced process controls.
DST Systems has upgraded its transaction processing interface. In pilot-testing DST’s SmartForms tool for 529 new account setup, Boston Financial Data Services reduced data-entry time and improved quality control. SmartForms pulls images from a scanned paper application. As a processor moves his/her cursor over a data entry field, the information to be entered is automatically displayed in a bubble above the field.
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