During recent years the volume, speed and quality of information transmission have increased dramatically in most industries. Static fund data, however, is still transmitted in a very anachronistic, non-standardised manner. To improve this situation, the openfunds association provides an open, extensible and cost-free standard for the characterisation of investment funds. This will enable the automated transfer and validation of fund data. It is the goal of the openfunds standard to improve the quality and efficiency in the dissemination of fund information.
For a quick link to the latest openfunds field definitions please click here.
For an introduction to openfunds, read the whitepaper here.
Today, fund reference data is sent from fund providers to their distribution partners mainly via Excel spreadsheets, whereby the content and format are specified by the distribution partners. This can lead to duplication and errors at the fund provider’s end given that the individual spreadsheets usually have to be created manually.
Likewise, the set fields almost always leave room for interpretation. This results in inefficiencies and errors during data transfer and reconciliation between fund providers and their distribution partners.
openfunds is modelled on standards in place in other industries, particularly in the field of Information Technology. As in other industries, the standardization is expected to improve efficiency. To this end, the openfunds association offers an extendable set of clearly defined fund reference data with unique identifiers. These identifiers are referred to as “openfunds identifiers” – or “OF-IDs” for short.
This website defines the OF-ID system and the concepts behind it as well as the individual values and definitions. The content of this website is published under a Creative Commons Licence and may be used by anyone free of charge. For more information on the licence terms, please click on the menu item Licence.
openfunds Identifiers (OF-IDs)
The central elements of this initiative are the “openfunds identifiers” (OF-IDs). These are an open, extendible set of fund reference data. Each individual field is clearly defined and assigned to an unique identifier. This identifier is referred to as a “openfunds identifier” (or “OF-ID” for short). The system, additional concepts and structure, down to the individual OF-IDs, are described in the Fields section of this website.
With the introduction of unique OF-IDs, fund reference data may still be sent in Excel format but may also be sent in XML- or CSV format.
Furthermore, the use of unique OF-IDs allows partial delivery based on selected data fields (e.g. a single item or multiple items of information regarding all fund share classes) or selected share classes (e.g. only a new share class with all the corresponding data fields relating to an existing fund). Fully automatic updating of a single field of a single share class is also possible.
Detailed specifications for OF-IDs can significantly reduce the current frequent misunderstandings and broad scope for interpretation. Each individual field is identified by an unequivocal name, a description, one or more examples and reference to the data type and desired format.
Members and Board of Directors
The ultimate objective of openfunds is the standardisation of data fields relating to fund information. This standard can only gain acceptance if it is supported by a sufficiently large number of fund providers and fund distributers, and if it is capable of responding quickly and flexibly to the new needs of market participants.
Therefore, all fund providers and fund distributors are more than welcome to adopt the openfunds standard. Companies may support the standard as either an informational or active member of the openfunds association. All member are listed in the About us section of this website.
To promote the adoption of new systems, fields and concepts based on the openfunds standard, a concentrated pool of industry expertise is required. Therefore, an openfunds Board of Directors has being set up with the task of adapting and extending the standard. The board is comprised of representatives of up to seven major companies from the fund industry. A list of the current members can be found under About us.
Among the initiators of the openfunds standardization process is fundinfo AG of Zurich, which has agreed to provide access to openfunds under a Creative Commons Licence. That means that anyone may use and pass on this standard provided that he or she a) does not modify it, and b) mentions the source www.openfunds.org. For more information on the licence terms, please visit the Licence section of this website.