Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) has revamped Fund WorldView, its online “global fund super-market”. The new platform builds on BBH’s original fund distribution product, introduced in June 2000.
“We’ve spoken with a lot of our clients on two fronts,” says Eric Macy, development manager for WorldView. “Firstly, we asked them what information they needed to purchase funds for their clients. Secondly, we’ve tried to put the information together in such a way that will enable institutional clients to research funds effectively. We’ve simply been trying to make the process for research and buying funds more efficient, more automated, and as a result, more effective.”
The Web-enabled product features access to information for more than 300 funds from 24 fund families with no transaction fee, as well as additional listings for more than 1,200 funds. Macy says that more than 450 data fields are included in each fund, and improved query capabilities on the site enable users to cross-reference across multiple criteria, based on fund family, classification, performance, registration and other information.
“The system has an online execution capability now – once a fund manager has done the research, they can order funds,” says Macy. “Clients are getting more sophisticated, they want funds which are best of breed. If that’s one of our funds, then that’s great. If not, then in the past they’d go their own way. Our product enables us to hook into current trends and offer a wide variety of funds and a wide variety of information.”
According to BBH there is a growing business need to expand fund offerings beyond proprietary funds to minimise potential asset disintermediation by new market entrants, particularly independent supermarket programs. Fund WorldView is intended to significantly reduce the costs and risks associated with third party fund processing by providing an outsourced solution, reducing the number of funds which fund managers need to maintain relationships with. “We’re becoming a one-stop shop for fund managers. They don’t need a relationship with 30 funds, they just need a single account with Brown Brothers Harriman,” says Macy.