The two organisations announced in a joint statement that they had collaborated to release a questionnaire and a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document to assist superannuation funds prepare for their operational due diligence (ODD) reports.
The questionnaire is aimed at helping fund managers better prepare for third-party due diligence requests or requests for information.
The questionnaire contains a comprehensive list of questions across the areas of organisational structure, personnel, governance, trading process and operational functions, valuations, IT systems and security, business continuity and disaster recovery, service provider insight, reporting, and operational model considerations.
Regarding risk, for example, the questionnaire asks: “Does your organisation have a risk register in place? How is the risk register monitored and approved? Who is responsible for its maintenance?”
Some questions on IT support and security are: “What is the backup process for key systems, applications and data? Do you copy critical data from primary production servers to back-up servers on a real-time basis, for disaster recovery purposes?”
In the FAQ document, AIST responds to common questions from investment managers about its ‘Operational Due Diligence Guidance Note’ which it released in January.
AIST chief executive Eva Scheerlinck said this “collective approach to ODD” would save the industry, and by extension super fund members, “millions of dollars”.
FSC chief executive Sally Loane added that she was pleased to team up with AIST to “simplify the process, prevent repetition of work and generate cost and time efficiencies for both of our members, the benefit of which will flow through to consumers”.
“The conducting of operational due diligence is labour intensive for both super funds and fund managers alike and the process is not helped by different organisations asking for similar information to be provided in different formats.”
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