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Russell Investments First to Benefit from Revolution in Shareholder Report Creation
Confluence Solution Eliminates Typesetting Risk, Saves Time and Reduces Costs

January 14, 2014

Fund administrators can now produce faster, more accurate and less expensive shareholder reports by eliminating the risk-prone typesetting step from the publishing process. As global asset manager Russell Investments, the first user of Unity® Publishing, can attest, Confluence's new automated shareholder report creation solution actually eliminates the need for typesetting while simultaneously reducing the time and cost associated with shareholder reporting.

Confluence's new Unity Publishing solution automatically generates highly-stylized customer-defined print-ready PDFs from the content and data associated with quarterly holdings, annual and semi-annual shareholder reports. Because the content never leaves the publishing system, the need for a typesetter and the associated third-party editing risks are eliminated. Unity Publishing reduces the lag time to a stylized draft by 99 percent, which allows for more timely internal reviews and edits by those who need to see stylized content rather than raw data. The original composition of most shareholder reports can take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours. Unity Publishing reduces that down to minutes. For example, the time required to process Russell's most complicated report went from 72 hours to 30 minutes. Subsequent drafts can take up to 24 hours, but with Confluence, Russell reduced that processing time to minutes, as well.

"The advent of automated publishing is truly a paradigm shift in the fund industry," Confluence Chief Operating Officer Skip Smith said. "Outsourced typesetting has been a bottleneck in a fast-moving, $100 trillion industry. This error-prone, time-consuming process has traditionally held the fund administrator hostage to externally-defined timelines and introduced risk into critical fund reporting. Unity Publishing provides fund administrators with complete control over the shareholder report production process."

Russell Investments, Confluence's first Unity Publishing client, has already seen a dramatic increase in their shareholder reporting efficiency, in addition to significantly reducing their reporting costs and risks.

"We just completed our most demanding reporting cycle of the year using Unity Publishing. We were able to cut the typesetting effort required to put out two Annual Reports by an estimated 25 percent, and cut related costs for our clients by 20 percent," said Rick Chase, director of fund administration for Russell Investments. "Since typesetting has been eliminated from the process, we have more control over output and more time to focus on high-quality content. Third-party editors can no longer accidentally change data that must then be re-reviewed line by line. This has vastly reduced our potential risks that arise from a more manual environment and increased our efficiency."

Unity Publishing also features robust audit trail capabilities to track changes among current and previous PDF versions, critical at the end of reporting cycles when multiple viewers are often requesting content changes.

"The fund industry is increasingly threatened with commoditization," Confluence's Smith said. "The savviest back offices are standing out by implementing new technologies that reduce costs, eliminate risk and add business value. Unity Publishing and its ability to provide total control over the shareholder reporting process is a game-changer for the funds that abandon traditional typesetting for a better way."

To learn more about implementing Unity Publishing contact Confluence by email at info@confluence.com or call +1 412 802 8632.

About Confluence

As a proven leader delivering an innovative platform to put the data first in asset management, Confluence is leading the DataTech evolution for post-trade reporting. We focus on getting the data right, then reusing it across multiple regulatory, financial, statutory, performance and investor communications deliverables for speed, efficiency and control. Eight of the top 10 global service providers license Confluence products and eight of the top 10 global asset managers have business processes automated through Confluence. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Confluence serves the international fund industry with locations in Brussels, Ho Chi Minh City, London and Luxembourg.

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