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Industry Group announces automated messaging solution for alternative investment funds

London, 28 September 2015 - The Global Alternative Investment Automation (GAIA) group has today announced the creation of a new operational messaging framework for Alternative Investment Funds.

The first flows being tested are for subsequent orders and reporting, with initial tests running smoothly. Significantly, these messages have been built with a business focused approach able to be carried across a variety of messaging infrastructures. This allows firms to use the same ISO20022 messaging formats they use today for mutual fund messaging.

These message formats have been published today on the GAIA website www.gaiastandard.org. GAIA will now focus on finalising the testing and on promoting the widespread use of these messages across the industry. As a next step, GAIA intends to look into additional flows that would benefit from automation.

GAIA was formed in August 2014 and consists of seven leading alternative fund administrators, custodians and infrastructures (detailed below) under the facilitation of Idea Group. The group aims to bring automation and best practices to operational messaging flows within the global alternative investment industry. Until now, these processes relied on faxes or other manual methods, which are inefficient and do not take advantage of modern technology.

GAIA Member quotes

Bill Gourlay, CEO of Idea Group (facilitators of GAIA) stated:
“The lack of proper message automation in the alternatives space has been a problem for many years, and has defeated a number of former initiatives. We are delighted that GAIA has successfully found a way of not only meeting this challenge, but of also bringing together traditional and alternative funds into the same messaging structure”.

Bernard Tancré, Executive Director Investment Fund Services Clearstream, stated:
"Clearstream's participation in the development of this new operational messaging framework is part of our longstanding standardisation and automation efforts for the investment fund industry. The GAIA initiative provides market participants with a single set of message usage definitions for all types of fund transactions and will boost the industry-wide shift from fax to SWIFT messaging. Following the opening of our hedge fund processing centre in Ireland, this industry-wide collaboration is another way in which we at Clearstream are fast-tracking our standardisation initiatives in the alternative fund space."

Ann Bergin, Managing Director & General Manager Wealth Management Services of DTCC, stated:
“Standardization will help the alternative investment industry tremendously, and we’re happy to be a part of this effort. We’ve seen the benefits of standardization first hand with the implementation of our Alternative Investment Products platform, which is utilized by 400 legal entities and has centralized the processing of over 100 million transactions to date. Standardization provides efficiency and scalability, which are critical to support broader accessibility and the projected dramatic growth in the alternatives markets”.

Jo Van de Velde, Head of Product Management of Euroclear, stated:
“In close co-operation with fellow partners of the GAIA industry task force, we have tackled a major processing challenge, head on. In providing the infrastructure for standardised and harmonised messaging we are bringing the hedge fund industry to a more streamlined, efficient and less costly post trade environment. We look forward to continuing our efforts with the group, as we jointly address areas of concern that need to be overcome in order to grow the alternative investments fund sector.”

Note to editors and participant details

About DTCC

With over 40 years of experience, DTCC is the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry. From operating facilities, data centers and offices in 16 countries, DTCC, through its subsidiaries, automates, centralizes, and standardizes the post-trade processing of financial transactions, mitigating risk, increasing transparency and driving efficiency for thousands of broker/dealers, custodian banks and asset managers worldwide. User owned and industry governed, the firm simplifies the complexities of clearing, settlement, asset servicing, data management and information services across asset classes, bringing increased security and soundness to the financial markets. In 2014, DTCC’s subsidiaries processed securities transactions valued at approximately US$1.6 quadrillion. Its depository provides custody and asset servicing for securities issues from over 130 countries and territories valued at US$64 trillion. DTCC’s global trade repository maintains approximately 40 million open OTC positions and processes roughly 280 million messages a week.

To learn more, please visit www.dtcc.com or follow us on Twitter @The_DTCC.

About Euroclear

Euroclear group is the financial industry’s trusted provider of post trade services. At the core, the group provides settlement, safe-keeping and servicing of domestic and cross-border securities for bonds, equities and derivatives to investment funds. Euroclear is a proven, resilient capital market infrastructure committed to delivering risk-mitigation, automation and efficiency at scale for its global client franchise.

The Euroclear group includes Euroclear Bank - which is rated AA+ by Fitch Ratings and AA by Standard & Poor’s - as well as Euroclear Belgium, Euroclear Finland, Euroclear France, Euroclear Nederland, Euroclear Sweden and Euroclear UK & Ireland. The Euroclear group settled the equivalent of EUR 634 trillion in securities transactions in 2014, representing 182 million domestic and cross-border transactions. By June 2015, the group held EUR 28 trillion in assets for clients.

For more information please visit About us or follow us on Twitter @EuroclearGroup or on LinkedIn.

About Idea Group

Idea Group is a financial services and technology consultancy with over 20 years of experience in bringing increased efficiency and automation to clients. As chairs and authors of numerous market practice initiatives, such as ViaNova, Australian Domestic Funds, SHarP and now GAIA, Idea Group has a very particular experience in bringing together industry participants and then helping them work together in order to improve industry best practices.

For more information please visit www.ideagroup.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @ideagroupthe

About JP Morgan

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

About Northern Trust

Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has offices in the United States in 19 states and Washington, D.C., and 20 international locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of March 31, 2015, Northern Trust had assets under custody of US$6.1 trillion, and assets under management of US$960.1 billion. For 125 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation.

Visit northerntrust.com or follow us on Twitter @NorthernTrust.

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