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Industry roundup: 1 July

Northern Trust launches alternative asset servicing digitisation initiative

Northern Trust has launched a machine learning-powered document capture capability as the foundation of a multi-year investment to digitise alternative asset servicing and enhance the experience for asset owner clients that invest in complex private market and unlisted assets.

Digital document capture enables Northern Trust to streamline historically manual workflows by automating the receipt and processing of alternative asset documents and fund manager reports on holdings and performance of hedge funds, private equity and other alternative assets. Northern Trust’s proprietary solution combines robotic process automation and cloud-based technology to provide transparency and data standardisation that enables greater understanding of portfolio risk and performance. 

"As alternative asset classes continue to grow in importance to institutional investors, Northern Trust is committed to driving efficiency and reducing operational risk through the use of emerging technologies," said Pete Cherecwich, president of Corporate & Institutional Services at Northern Trust. "Digital document capture is a huge step forward, and only the start of our larger plan to enhance alternative asset servicing for the benefit of our clients."

The intelligent document capture solution deploys custom-built robotic process automation that enables self-service operations to collect documents from emails, whether in the form of download link or within the email text. Documents are stored on a cloud-based drive where intelligent tools extract identifying details such as the type of document (e.g., statements, capital call notices, and distribution notices) and the name of the fund company, tasks previously performed manually. 

The proprietary document capture tool is the first in a series of releases supporting Northern Trust’s strategy to harness emerging technologies to digitise alternative asset servicing, a growing sector of its asset servicing business. 


Elucidate launches open database of financial crime risk scores in the banking industry

Elucidate, a financial crime risk scoring platform, has launched the Elucidate FinCrime Risk Monitor (EFRM), an open database for scoring the financial crime risk vulnerability of financial institutions. During a time when financial crime scandals are increasingly common, the EFRM looks to increase transparency in the finance industry.

The EFRM evaluates more than 17000 financial institutions, with data sourced from the Elucidate FinCrime Index (EFI), the company's regulated financial crime risk benchmark.

"This is the first time that a credible financial crime benchmark has been openly published for all to see," said Shane Riedel, CEO of Elucidate. "Financial crime is not an abstract regulatory or legal issue; rather it is profound human suffering caused by activities like corruption, people trafficking and terrorist financing. A future that includes a dramatic reduction in financial crime is a future in which data and metrics guide behaviours and performance."

EFRM users can view any financial institution’s financial crime results, see how they rank by quartile and compare institutions. Subsequent iterations of the EFRM will also include detailed scores. With these results, banking and finance professionals can analyse how their institutions compare on governance, risk and compliance across their region or the whole industry. Financial institutions invest around 3% of revenue on financial crime risk management; Elucidate’s benchmark and the EFRM enable financial institutions to gauge the effectiveness of the investment.


Nasdaq launches hub for expert-led ESG data

Nasdaq has announced the launch of ESG Data Hub, the latest expansion of its growing suite of products aiming to support investors in their sustainable investment decisions. The new platform connects investors with expert-led environmental, social and governance (ESG) data sets from providers across a wide spectrum of areas, including gender diversity, carbon emissions and climate risk, providing detailed and tangible intelligence on companies’ ESG profiles.

Through ESG Data Hub, investors are provided with seamless, consolidated access to information through a single interface. To support transparency and global comparability, all data available in the platform is connected to the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations. To optimise data quality, Nasdaq has worked with industry leaders within a wide range of categories across the ESG scope.

Data from the following partners are available through ESG Data Hub: Equileap (Gender equality), Ecogain (Biodiversity), RepRisk (Reputational risk), Munich Re (Climate risk), Inrate (Carbon emissions), Upright Project (Net impact) and Clean Tech (Renewable technology).

"This launch reflects a growing interest in ESG data from investors," said Diana van Maasdijk, CEO at Equileap. "We are very proud to partner with Nasdaq and provide reliable gender equality data on their new platform. We know for a fact that companies with a more diverse leadership perform better and are more sustainable. Equileap's gender diversity data helps investors make a difference and a return."

Additional data partners will be added continuously. In addition, data from Nasdaq's proprietary data service Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network will be available through ESG Data Hub. The hub and its partner content is now available to all investors.

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