EUROPE - A system by Dutch pension fund manager PGGM has inspired INREV's proposed standard data delivery sheet (SDDS) - the first industry standard to "streamline and standardise" the information provided quarterly by fund managers.
A white paper published this week as part of a three-month consultation claims around 90% of the data regularly exchanged between fund managers and investors is common across funds.
Yet INREV said its fund managers had approached it in recent years saying they spent more time than ever responding to individual reporting requests.
INREV said the standard would increase comparability, giving investors a consistent view across their non-listed portfolios.
It will include general fund-level data, quantitative fund-level data (such as NAV) and quantitative investor-level data based on its share in the fund.
PGGM started developing what was to become the model for the SDDS for internal use in 2009.
Its aim was to standardise data extracts and financial information - alongside existing quarterly reporting - in a one-page overview reflecting the same items, calculation bases and definitions for all funds PGGM had invested in globally, regardless of their accountancy principles.
An indication of how difficult it has been to create an industry standard is how long it has taken to get this far.
The standard has been in development since October 2010 and involved previous rounds of consultation with both fund managers and investors.
Key criteria for the standard's chances are clarity and investor acceptance.
The white paper said: "Given the broad spread of different financial reporting and accounting terms used by the industry, extra attention has been given to have clear definitions and explanations of the different items to guarantee true standardisation."
Where INREV definitions were absent or inadequate, the standard's authors have borrowed them from existing ones, including the OSCRE e-commerce standard.
INREV said: "It is likely that fund managers and investors will have to make some changes to their existing fund reporting practice.
"It will take time and effort to be implemented but, once fully accepted by the market, should support a more efficient way of data exchange between fund manager and invertors."