Nobody questions the benefits of producing mutual fund fact sheets. They are often the first-place financial professionals and investors go to learn about your fund. But the effort that goes into producing the volume of fact sheets that need to be updated each month can be taxing.
Especially when the production process is largely manual.
While a number of mutual fund companies have automated processes for fact sheet generation using data provided through companies like Refinitiv Lipper, there are still thousands of organizations that are handling production manually.
Mutual fund fact sheet production headaches
For those companies, fact sheet production is a much bigger headache than it needs to be. Manual fact sheet creation presents several challenges that must be addressed in order to minimize the expense, resources and risk involved.
Challenge #1: Complexity of fund sheets
Consider all the data points that go into creating a single fact sheet. Most recent unit/share price, historical return statistics, holdings broken down by asset class, geography and industry sector (to name a few) all the way down to details like bond maturity and credit quality allocations. Companies that haven’t outsourced fact sheet updates have to pull this information from a variety of sources ‒ a time-consuming and low-value resource drain.
Challenge #2: Volume of fact sheets
The complexity of data that makes up a single fact sheet is then multiplied by the number of sheets that must be updated each month. Even a small fund company has dozens of fact sheets to produce on a monthly basis, and with mid-to-large organizations, that number is easily in the hundreds.
Every different mutual fund needs a fact sheet. But many funds require a variety of fact sheets. Some have multiple share classes that may have different pricing and performance numbers ‒ and each variant may need another fact sheet. In some countries, fact sheets need to be produced in two or more languages.
When you consider all the variants, the volume of data points required to be gathered each month is daunting. Having to create 200-300 fact sheets per month is not an insignificant activity.
Challenge #3: Manual processes
If a fund company relies on a resource in the marketing or product management team to manually key in all the different data points that change from month to month, the effort and time required is onerous.
Even if the company has created a work-around like an Excel pivot table, it’s still an ungainly, highly manual workflow that has to incorporate Excel and Word and PDF creation in order to generate an acceptable fact sheet.
Challenge #4: Inaccuracy
Not only are manual workflows labor intensive, they’re also prone to error. Any time the human hand enters the process, you introduce the possibility of errors creeping in. It makes the review process more time-consuming and difficult. It introduces the possibility that a fact sheet that is incorrect will make its way into an advisor or investor’s hands. Inaccurate fact sheets can negatively impact confidence in the manufacturer.
Challenge #5: Professional look and feel
Since a mutual fund fact sheet is like a calling card representing your company, it’s important that it correctly reflects your brand, while clearly and professionally representing your product. This level of presentation is harder to create and takes longer if you are using manual production processes. That’s why the look and feel of fact sheets varies so much from company to company. In many cases, the image being put forward is actually quite dated, and not at all the impression an organization would prefer to make on their clients.
The cost of poor production processes
Those five challenges impact fund manufacturers by increasing the time and effort involved in creating new fact sheets each month, increasing the associated costs and drawing staff away from higher value work.
The cure for fact sheet production headaches
A turn-key managed service that dynamically creates monthly mutual fund fact sheets from a reputable data source, immediately solves manual production process headaches. The right solution automatically pulls data from sources like Lipper Refinitiv, as well as any internal customized feeds required.
The Equisoft Fact Sheets solution dynamically creates the necessary fact sheets according to pre-built templates for different fund types. Each template is professionally created with your branding and color palette. The fund center portal automatically notifies you when the month’s data is available, and the PDF fact sheet has been updated.
The best fact sheet solutions make it easy for you to review the facts sheets prior to distribution. The PDFs can be viewed individually or downloaded as a batch in a zip folder. Each sheet is automatically generated in all applicable languages.
The solution to all those production headaches is to implement a turnkey, managed service that automates the process and removes all the operational headaches.
Whether you want to deliver a traditional PDF or a dynamic digital experience, an automated mutual fund fact sheet solution makes it easy and cost-effective to communicate value and leverage brand equity while staying compliant with distribution requirements. Replacing your manual production processes with this kind of automation saves time, reduces costs and frees up your staff to work on higher value tasks.