21 Dec 2011, Custody Risk, Risk magazine
Up until the end of August, assets under administration increased by an impressive 21%, rising from $24 billion to $29 billion. Its client count increased from 109 to 127, a rise of 17%, with the number of funds increasing from 238 to 299, up 26%. The growth came from middle-office outsourcing – including a $1.3 billion mandate – hedge funds and managed accounts platforms. Maples Fund Services offers a full spectrum of services for funds and investment vehicles including corporates, limited partnerships, trustees, master-feeders, mutual funds, Ucits and umbrella funds. Single manager funds make up 50% of the business, fund of funds 19% and private equity 31%.
Institutional investors are moving alternative investments into managed accounts to gain transparency, control and liquidity in an effort to avoid exposures to challenging markets, resulting from interdependence on other investors in commingled funds. New and existing managers have also been outsourcing their middle-office infrastructure to Maples Fund Services to meet rapidly evolving regulatory and investor reporting requirements. Maples Fund Services also saw a steady flow of start-up hedge fund mandates as the hedge fund industry enjoyed a year of increasing investor confidence.
Maples Fund Services – which has offices in Ireland, Luxembourg and five offices outside of Europe – believes a standard approach to fund administration is not enough to meet the individual requirements of each investment manager at all times. The adaptable approach taken by Maples Fund Services allows investment managers that outsource to obtain an institutional infrastructure required by investors, while at the same time preserving the proprietary elements of their operations that provide them with a competitive advantage.
In order to help this approach, Maples Fund Services has rolled out a customisable dashboard that provides clients with web-based access to flexible performance and risk reporting tools. The dashboard offers full integration with custodians and market data vendors, with software house Advent’s Geneva as the core accounting engine. The dashboard allows Maples Fund Services to provide data analytics, flexible reporting, performance calculations, expertise and responsiveness. Its operating system MSHARE delivers investor statements and contract notes automatically. Maples Fund Services also offers investors the ability to access their statements from a web portal via Linedata reporting.
The growth has allowed Maples Fund Services to increase its staff numbers by 6%, which included adding significant numbers to its IT support team.
In addition to support from IT and client operations, Maples Fund Services gives its clients reassurance through its control environment, with firm risk management policies in place from senior management down.
The judges praised Maples Fund Services’ quality of entry and growth throughout the year. It will have high hopes of continuing its success as the trend towards outsourcing increases.