New Communications System Will Help SMA Industry

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC) of New York is introducing a new centralized, automated communications system for separately managed accounts that will link sponsoring broker-dealers and investment managers throughout the industry.

DTCC‚s Separately Managed Account Service will automate the flow of data related to establishing and servicing SMA accounts and will increase efficiencies while reducing errors and operational risks. In addition, the service will help eliminate the multiple connections that now exist between parties, decrease the cost and time it now takes to open and service SMA accounts and provide opportunities for users to expand trading relationships.

A rule filing seeking approval to proceed with DTCC‚s new service is pending with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The service is an offering of National Securities Clearing Corp., a subsidiary of DTCC.

"Our industry is facing a critical stage similar to the one faced by the mutual funds industry 20 years ago," said Christopher L. Davis, executive director of the Money Management Institute, the national organization for the managed account industry. "Operational costs are disproportionately high, compared to the assets under management that the industry is bringing in. If separately managed accounts are to grow into a scalable business, we have to address critical information processing issues now."

DTCC has been working closely with the MMI to prepare for the launch using newly standardized business notifications procedures developed by the organization. "With DTCC serving as the central communications and processing hub, we are in an excellent position to draw upon its considerable experience and expertise in streamlining industry operations," explained Davis.

Initially, the new service will transmit account opening and maintenance data. Mary Gentempo, senior vice president and director of operations at AIM Private Asset Management, says the automated system should help with processing accounts faster and with greater accuracy because information will be in a standardized format. For more information, visit

Rydex Program For RIAs

Rydex of Rockville, Md., has launched Rydex PracticeValue for registered investment advisors. The program is designed to provide advisors with the tools and resources they need to enhance and grow their firms.

The service offers research on the RIA marketplace through monthly newsletters, quarterly research reports and an annual research study. PracticeValue also offers, a tool for advisors to analyze their practices online and see how they stack up against other advisors, and help with developing media strategies. Advisors who meet certain criteria can tap into the expertise of Rydex PracticeValue analysts to receive a customized practice review. For more information, visit or call (800) 820-0888.

ICON Funds Names Managers

ICON Funds, based in Greenwood, Colo., recently named portfolio managers to manage individual funds based on their analytical expertise in specific market sectors.

Derek Rollingson manages ICON‚s Bond, Financial, Leisure and Consumer Staples, Materials, and ICON South Europe Region funds.

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