Industry to Offer Enhanced Fund Networking

The year 2001 could become known as the year in which online information sharing arrived in the mutual fund market. The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC) has created a mutual fund inquiry service that provides real-time access to clients' fund holdings across multiple fund companies. The networking capability also enables reps to get account histories, cost-basis information and money-transfer

The year 2001 could become known as the year in which online information sharing arrived in the mutual fund market.

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC) has created a mutual fund inquiry service that provides real-time access to clients' fund holdings across multiple fund companies. The networking capability also enables reps to get account histories, cost-basis information and money-transfer information.

Testing of the new Interactive Inquiry service has been completed, and it will be rolled out to member banks and brokerages by the third quarter.

“The Interactive Inquiry service will satisfy a long-standing need in the industry,” says Ann Bergin, managing director of DTCC's fund services. “Brokers will have onscreen access to accounts in a real-time environment. Ultimately, we hope this service will replace manual transactions.”

Separately, Fidelity Investments Institutional Services, Putnam Investments and Franklin Templeton Investments, together with Wilmington, Del.-based service provider PFPC, have agreed to develop an industrywide portal for reps.

The portal will offer investment professionals access to consolidated mutual-fund account information from the fund groups. Reps will be able to open accounts; buy, exchange or redeem fund shares; and make account maintenance updates and dividend option changes.

The portal is expected to be operational during the second half of this year.

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