Vanguard Using Blockchain Technology To Improve Index Data Distribution

Partnership with Symbiont and CRSP® will increase capital markets transparency and automate processes essential to investment community

VALLEY FORGE, PA (December 12, 2017) – Vanguard, in close collaboration with the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP®) and technology provider Symbiont, is leading an effort to simplify the index data sharing process through innovative blockchain technology. This partnership between the three organizations will enable index data to move instantly between index providers and market participants over one decentralized database. 

“Using this platform, investment managers will be able to instantly distribute, receive, and process index data, resulting in better benchmark tracking and significant cost savings that potentially results in better returns for our clients,” said Warren Pennington, a principal in Vanguard’s Investment Management Group. 

Over the last several months, CRSP has distributed daily index data to Vanguard in a testing environment through Symbiont’s blockchain platform. Delivering the data via a blockchain and automating workflows with smart contracts has served to expedite data delivery, eliminate the need for manual updates, and reduce risks. 

“Secure, timely, and reliable controlled distribution of highly sensitive and time-critical information is essential to the continued evolution of the investment and financial services environment. CRSP is dedicated to facilitating the healthy evolution of this marketplace through our data and projects like this,” said David Barclay, COO of CRSP. 

Currently, index data transmission, which is essential to many operations within the financial services industry, including portfolio construction and strategy execution, relies on multiple parties and distribution channels to reach investment professionals.

“Through this collaboration we were able to show how Symbiont’s blockchain technology and smart contracts can enhance market data distribution among disparate parties,” said Mark Smith, CEO and co-founder of Symbiont. “We’re pleased both Vanguard and CRSP were open to exploring new ways to use our platform to make capital markets cheaper, faster, and more accurate for investors.” 

The success of this initial pilot will enable automation of CRSP index data delivery and intra-day updates over the private blockchain network in early 2018. Vanguard, Symbiont, and CRSP will also use the results of this initiative to influence future blockchain efforts. 

About Vanguard
Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment management companies. As of October 31, 2017, Vanguard managed $4.8 trillion in global assets. The firm, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, offers more than 376 funds to its more than 20 million investors worldwide. For more information, visit vanguard.com.

About CRSP
The Center for Research in Security Prices, at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, has been an integral part of the academic and commercial world of financial and economic research since 1960. CRSP’s portfolio of historical databases for common stocks, mutual funds, US Treasuries, REITs, and research indexes is relied on by almost 600 leading academic and commercial institutions in 35 countries. CRSP’s investable capitalization-based, industry sector, and value/growth style indexes are a logical extension of these core products. These indexes blend advancements in academic research with industry practice in a fundamentally sound manner under the premise that an index must reflect the way that money managers actually invest. For more information, please visit www.crsp.com.

About Symbiont
Symbiont is the market-leading smart contracts platform for institutional applications of blockchain technology. Disclosed users of its platform include nineteen financial institutions for Smart Loans™, arranged by Credit Suisse and executed via Synaps, its syndicated loans joint venture with Ipreo; the State of Delaware for Smart Records™; a major European insurance company for Smart Swaps™ in the catastrophe insurance market; Orebits, a provider of asset digitization services; PrivateMarket.io, an alternative assets platform; and Medici Ventures, a blockchain-focused venture firm. For more information, visit symbiont.io.

Notes:

  • All Vanguard data as of October 31, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

2017 The Vanguard Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor.