Deciding the scope of your Product Master: Beyond a simple list of funds?

One of the pivotal decisions firms face in implementing a product master is defining the scope of their product master, this boils down to roughly two questions – what is a product, and what product features would we like to master?


What is a product?

You will need to define carefully what a product is to your organisation. As you start engaging with stakeholders you may be surprised at how varied views may be – you will hear definitions of a product of anything from a fund, its share classes, to the strategy the fund follows.

To help define what a product is, it can help to produce and examine "use cases" within your business. You will probably have to decide if (and on what conditions) a segregated / separately managed account or an advisory account is considered a product.


What should be mastered?

You will likely encounter stakeholders who envisage the scope of a product master as a simple list of funds or product strategies, through a broader spectrum including umbrellas, disclosures, product strategies, distribution strategies, pricing rack rates, country of registration tables, and more.

The decision on the scope of the product master should be driven by several key factors:

  • Technology Infrastructure: Existing IT systems may influence the scope of the product master, if there is already a core data master management solution in place there will be a classic choice of whether to extend the existing master data management solution or to build a new system and integrate as needed.
  • Regulatory Requirements: Compliance needs can dictate the level of detail and types of data that must be readily accessible, often necessitating a broader scope.
  • Strategic Goals: The firm’s strategic direction may require a comprehensive dataset that includes detailed product strategies, pricing, and disclosures to support decision-making processes.
  • Operational Capabilities: The firm's ability to manage and maintain a more extensive product master should be considered, balancing the benefits against the administrative overhead. We will delve further into this topic next week.
Fundipedia's Approach to Data Masters

Since 2007 Fundipedia has been on a mission to make managing fund product data easy. We firmly believe that the best way to do this is by establishing a fund product data master and that to build one effectively, fund product data has to be treated holistically across its entire lifecycle. This means that from the very first spark of an idea through to end of a fund’s life (whether that is in the form of a final pay-out at maturation, a merger with another vehicle or a wind-down and liquidation) all fund product data – from identification and system codes to investment objectives and ESG disclaimers to the names of the board of directors etc etc – must be captured, stored centrally and made readily available to those who need it. It is this understanding of what data is needed by whom and for what purpose that is the key to setting up an effective product master. This is a complex undertaking and requires intelligent systems backed by experts who truly understand both the software and the product perspective. Very few companies have both of these skill sets in house and are increasingly turning to SaaS.

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About Fundipedia


Choosing the scope of your product master is a strategic decision that has far-reaching implications for your firm's operational efficiency, regulatory compliance, and ability to innovate. Whether opting for a basic list of funds or a more comprehensive dataset that includes data like disclosures, pricing, and distribution strategies, the key is to align the scope with the firm's strategic objectives, regulatory obligations, and operational capabilities.

Product Master Series

This is the first weekly article in a series focussing on implementing a Product Master. The articles focus on the following topics:

  1. Scope of the Product Domain
  2. Administering a Product Master
  3. Workflow and Mastering Interaction
  4. Downstream consumption
  5. Building a Business Case

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