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Thursday, September 05, 2002

Getting Ready for OFAC

by: Tony Pennino

Like the brokerage industry before it, the mutual fund industry is gearing up for new regulations from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Firms will be expected to match names of alleged bad actors from an OFAC list to a list of their own clients. The government is expected to announce the exact nature of the new regulations in October.

Now, Quantitative Advisors is launching a new solution to assist mutual funds houses in complying with the new regulations, Fred Marius, president of the firm, told the MutualFundWire.com. Marius argues that the seemingly straightforward process is made extremely complicated by the fact that OFAC is constantly updating its list, shareholder information is continually in flux, and the fact that an exact match search might not yield the desired results.

"The list OFAC puts out is not the perfect format for recordkeeping," Marius stated. "We take care of that. We upload the list every night. We are connected with our clients' computer system and the lists are constantly being evaluated."

For larger clients, Quantitative Advisors connects to them through an Intranet service. For smaller clients who may not necessarily have a computer or computer system specifically designated for this kind of data, Marius says that his firm can provide the same solution over a secure and heavily encrypted connection over the Internet.

The solution provides alerts for both exact matches and very close matches and organizes them by priority. "Our solution eliminates both the manual efforts that currently go into seeking to comply with the proposed regulations and the inexact results of such efforts," the executive contended.

"Our solution will help firms comply with the new regulations from the government and at a reasonable cost," Marius concluded. 

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