The Money Management Institute (MMI) has hired data management vendor Coates Analytics to help the Institute in an initiative to combine onto one system the sales, distribution and other information of its broker-dealer sponsors and money managers.

The goal is to increase the sales and distribution of fee-based products, as well as mutual funds and exchange-traded-funds, by substantially improving the amount and quality of research information available to all of its members. Such information would include data on broker-dealers, distribution firms and their subscribers, such as money managers.

“This represents a major milestone for our membership,” says Christopher Davis, president of the Money Management Institute. “We believe carefully-crafted analytics can revolutionize the way managed money products and programs are developed and distributed in the marketplace.”

Davis said that the system, as it grows, will offer a number of important applications for members. It will help firms better target their sales forces and wholesaling efforts as well as analyze efficiency of different field offices.

Another new application, just thought up in recent weeks by MMI executives, is improved oversight functionality for members. For example, if one firm that specializes in international style funds hires a commodity firm as a sub-advisor, the Coates Analytic system will help collect compliance data needed for regulators.

“The system will provide a very efficient oversight for managers and sub-advisors,” said Davis. “We are going to pursue this application aggressively.”

Davis said that Coates was selected after a five-month RFP process, in which the software vendor impressed Institute management with a “vigorous, complex explanation” of its systems.

A major selling point was the attention Coates placed on the subject of data integrity. Because many of the MMI members participating within the system are “intense competitors,” as Davis described it, the Institute needed to reassure that the data would be handled carefully.

Currently, four of the top ten distribution networks are participating within the system. Davis hopes all of them will be on board by the end of the year. The system will be available not only to MMI members but also to outside clients.

“The system is open to the industry,” he said.


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