In the fast paced and highly competitive investment management environment, there is very little room for mediocrity.
Apart from a sound investment thesis, partnerships form a key element that can make the difference between attracting or losing assets. Distribution, client service and performance are some of the elements of success. However, behind the scenes effective fund administration can be a formidable differentiator allowing you to focus on the core activities needed to deliver alpha.
Navigating the complex world of fund administration can be daunting, especially when your business hinges on seamless operations and regulatory compliance. That is why choosing the right fund administrator is a critical decision that can make all the difference.
Here Charlie Brownlee, Director – Fund Accounting, consider the six things to consider when looking for a fund administrator:
Size might be a sign of stability and sustainability, but it can make you a mere number within a larger organisation.
Ensure that your partner is big enough to be sustainable, but not such a juggernaut that your individual requirements do not matter. Companies that have scaled up for the sake of scale may let client service fall by the wayside.
- Global expertise
Ensure that the partner you choose understands global best practice. Collaborating with a global firm provides access to expertise in multiple jurisdictions and markets to support future growth. You will also be able to benefit from a global partner’s understanding of trends and latest technology across the globe.
Do you understand the regulations to launch a new fund in the European Union, South Africa and the USA? Does your current administrator have the experience and experts to do it for you? While it is tempting to focus on the present, keeping one eye on future goals can bring benefits in choosing providers.
- Tailor-made solutions
Choose a partner with a full range of offerings that will grow with you and can design the service offering around your needs to ensure a long and prosperous relationship.
Sometimes administrators can follow a cookie cutter approach and will not be willing to cater for your individual needs. Ensure they can be flexible to individualise your offering to suit your requirements.
An experienced partner can ensure efficiency and will be able to enhance client experience without increasing costs or take managers’ attention away from their most important duty – providing superior and sustainable returns to clients.
Ensure that there is a people centric culture in the partner you chose and that a prospective provider has values which are aligned to your own.
This will provide stability, better client service and an environment focused on superior outcomes. Can the partner you choose support your growth on an operational or geographical basis with the same levels of service and dedication?
An underlying shared mission and values will help to ensure consistency of delivery.
- Global technology solutions
Does your prospective partner utilise the best, internationally recognised systems for the fund you are looking to administer? Having the right technology can extract incredible value from fund administration.
More accurate data is delivered quicker, unlocking better decision-making, and enabling purpose-built solutions that help in a wide range of areas such as audit readiness and regulatory compliance. Tech-enabled firms can alleviate large amounts of administrative burden.
- Easy and efficient onboarding
Does your partner have a dedicated team capable of dealing with variety of requests and managing data from differing sources and in various formats? What technical solutions can be offered that links in with existing systems and reduce internal development costs? Can your partner provide you with quick, efficient, and secure data sharing methods?
By spending the time to find an administrator who can provide these services, you are creating the best environment for your fund to thrive. It is arguably one of the most important decisions to be made when setting up and should not be rushed.
Ultimately, the results of choosing the right partner may add to your alpha signature.
How can JTC help?
At JTC, we offer a full suite of solutions in South Africa and can support all fund types across multiple jurisdictions and asset classes.
JTC in South Africa benefits from being part of a global network, enabling us to provide international support and access to a wide range of solutions across multiple jurisdictions and third party networks.
JTC’s Cape Town office employs over 200 professionals who service institutional clients in the global asset management industry. It was established in 2007, becoming part of the JTC Group in 2015.
This article was originally published in The Collaborative Exchange, considered to be one the leading independent information sources and advisory services in the South African investment landscape.