UK – Securities services information firm Thomas Murray has launched a tool to introduce additional control and transparency to the hedge funds industry.

The firm’s alternative investments services arm said it has co-operated with major institutional funds such as the UK’s £14bn (€20.3bn) Railways Pension Trustee Co. to develop and implement evaluation and selections questionnaires specific to alternative investments, as well as due diligence processes and rating methodologies.

The tool is called Service Providers Request for Proposal e-Tool (e-RPF Tool).

“It is hoped that its launch will bring additional controls, rigour and transparency to the industry which is beginning to see a proliferation of RFPs, as institutional investors increasingly invest in hedge funds,” Thomas Murray said.

The questionnaire covers custodial, fund accounting and transfer agency services and can be supplemented by user-specific questions.

Following validation of the user, Thomas Murray would issue the RFP to the selected candidates and provide users with on-line access to the participating service providers’ responses

Users of the site are able to conduct their own analysis of the responses, carry out due diligence and selection or engage Thomas Murray to do this on their behalf.

“Our aim is to facilitate the examination of service providers including credentials, services offered and their risk positions,” said Joanna Roemer-Babelek, director of the division.

Thomas Murray Alternative Investment Services is a member of the Thomas Murray Group, which was founded in 1994. Thomas Murray deals with custody rating, risk management and research firm specialising in the global securities services industry.