The top 8 fund factsheet production frustrations, and how to eradicate them

If you’re a fund marketer, chances are you’ll have had your fair share of fund fact sheet disasters — days where everything went wrong, the numbers didn’t add up, everyone wanted to amend their copy — the list goes on.

But fund factsheet production doesn’t have to be this frustrating or stressful! To help you manage your fund factsheet production process with more ease, we’ve made a list of the top eight factsheet production issues you are likely to encounter – and what you can do to eradicate them.

The top 8 issues:

1. A lack of product codes to track marketing activity

In many cases, only one type of security identifier can be referenced in back-office solutions or administrator systems, but marketing teams really need to cross reference and display all available codes (ISINs; SEDOLs; CUSIPs) to suit their international audience.

2. Getting hold of ‘static’ data is a hassle

There is an increasing amount of “static” data used as supporting information, outside of investment operations data, but vital for marketing. The obvious examples are fund manager profiles and photos (optimized for print and digital resolution), contact details, dealing instructions, preferred benchmarks, etc. It’s a huge, often frustrating, job to collect and maintain this type of data.

3. Manually changing classification structures takes long and leads to mistakes

Categorizing fund positions into geographic, sector, credit and currency breakdowns is fraught with data and presentation issues.

Often, classification structures have to be modified to suit the objectives of a fund or nuances of the target investors (e.g. Asia ex-Japan), which is difficult to do using the standard classifications that are provided by administrators/custodians.

This inevitably means that marketing people have to manually modify classification structures leading to mistakes that range from simple typos to incorrect groupings.

4. Collecting fund commentary and making changes take ages

There are very few asset managers who have systemized the process of collecting the text-based data that marketing departments need. Such information varies from commentaries and investment objectives through to larger prose required for bulletins, market reviews and research based material.

Most of this is still collected through word-processing, spreadsheets and emails making timely collection, sign-off and approval almost impossible, not to mention dealing with things like formatting and language translations. It’s no surprise that fact sheet production remains slow and cumbersome for many.

5. Using a different fund rating necessitates layout changes

This is a particularly menacing problem when dealing with different ratings applied for credit breakdowns in fixed income/money market funds (e.g. Fitch/Moody’s) and for fund ratings (e.g. Morningstar).

Aggregating credits ratings for fixed income holdings for presentation in fund fact sheets requires specific rules and manual intervention, whilst interchanging fund ratings from different data vendors requires Marketing to be able to specify on a month-to-month basis what presentation format to use and often changes the geometric layout of fact sheets.

6. Managing disclaimers is a mammoth task

We believe disclaimer management is becoming a science in itself. Disclaimers require dynamic inserts for certain items of data which can range from inserting specific dates into the text to more complex monetary or performance data. Compliance oversight and amendments are both becoming more onerous, as is the need for respecting specific countries of distribution and the associated regulatory statements that need to be made.

7. Inaccurate fund dates creating inconsistencies

It is not uncommon to discover that dates associated with funds have been recorded inaccurately. This could affect inceptions dates, dividend dates, dates when benchmarks changed, etc. This can play havoc with fact sheet creation permeating all the way through the process, preventing performance figures from reconciling and creating all sorts of inconsistencies with Morningstar, Lipper and other market data distributors.

8. Rounded numbers often don’t add up right

Did you know that Excel and SQL round up/down differently? Notwithstanding this, Marketing departments are very often faced with handling “rounded numbers” that have been passed to them by Operations, or third parties. The problem is that when rounded numbers are added they don’t necessary add up to the expected total. Therefore 100% can get displayed as 99.99% or 101%. We have simplified the illustration, but there are many examples.

A comprehensive solution

With Kurtosys DocPress you can completely automate all of your marketing materials – from sales presentations, to factsheets, to Quarterly Investment Reports.

Once you’ve pushed your data into our FundPress platform, our team works with you to define a set of data-driven templates which automatically merge your data in a compliant fashion into print-ready document templates, before being converted to the output of your choice on command in our production centre.

This means no more running around to source the data you need and struggling to get the required internal approvals. And as the production of your fund factsheets is completely automated, it also removes the risk of human error, improving your document accuracy and compliance.