During recent years the volume of data and the speed of information transmission have increased dramatically. Static fund data, however, is still transmitted in a very anachronistic manner. To improve this situation, the openfunds initiative provides an open, extensible and cost-free standard for disposal to allow an automated transfer and validation of fund data. In the end the openfunds initiative aims to improve 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.
This initiative 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 initiative offers an extendable set of clearly defined fund reference data with unique identifiers. These identifiers are referred to as “data identifiers” – or “data-IDs” for short.
This website defines the data-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.
Data Identifiers (data-IDs)
The central elements of this initiative are the “data identifiers” (data-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 “data identifier” (or “data-ID” for short). The system, additional concepts and structure, down to the individual data-IDs, are described in the Fields section of this website.
With the introduction of unique data-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 data-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 data-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.
Supporters and Committee
The ultimate objective of openfunds is the standardization 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 use this standard and process it fully automatically. Companies that do so are designated as “supporters of the openfunds standard” and may be listed under About us.
To promote the adoption of these new systems, fields and concepts, a concentrated pool of industry expertise is required. Therefore, an openfunds committee is being set up with the task of adapting and extending the standard. The committee will comprise representatives of up to three 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.