BNP Paribas Securities Services is developing a "next-generation digital fund distribution platform" with AXA IM, which will use blockchain and smart contracts technology to facilitate the the flow of information between fund buyers and sellers.
AXA IM, which has €717bn in assets under management, will partner for the co-design phase of the BNP Paribas Fund Link project.
One of the main objectives of the platform is to speed up the onboarding process for both fund buyers and asset managers. Fund buyers using BNP Paribas Fund Link will only have to upload their profile and investor onboarding documents once. This information will then be shared easily with the various management companies on the platform, said a statement.
BNP Paribas Fund Link also aims to improve the process of buying and selling funds thanks to an efficient end-to-end trade execution solution relying on embedded business rules and shared information. This will allow for efficient control and transparency of the distribution chain while removing unnecessary delays and reconciliation costs. Fund Link's analytics tools will help investors explore fund data to compare and select funds, and fund managers to fine-tune their distribution.
Joseph Pinto, COO at AXA Investment Managers, said: "We are excited to work with BNP Paribas Securities Services on the development of this new platform. Operational efficiency is a key area for us in an increasingly competitive market environment where pressure on fees keeps rising. We believe that the new technologies used by this platform can significantly enhance our fund distribution process and ensure we are well placed to meet the continued regulatory demand for increased transparency."
Jean Devambez, head of product and client solutions, Asset and Fund Services, at BNP Paribas Securities Services, said: "There are so many new and exciting ways technology can enhance the fund distribution process. With this platform we aim to bring many of them together to streamline fund distribution, create efficiencies and ultimately lower client costs.
"A key ambition has been to ensure the new platform helps asset managers meet the demands of new regulations, such as MiFID II, which will demand higher levels of transparency around the fund sales process.
"It is very important for us to co-design the solution with clients and we are delighted to have AXA IM on board."
BNP Paribas Securities Services will open the project to other clients in the near future, it said. The first functionalities of the platform will be released from this year onwards. Further details about the capabilities included in the platform and the underlying technology will be released in due course.