Poor communication and mistakes with due diligence are the biggest issues for alternative investment fund managers switching administrators, Ocorian, the specialist provider of alternative fund services and global leader in entity administration, fiduciary and compliance solutions warns.
AIFM providers need specialist asset class knowledge
The specialist provider of third party AIFM services to private capital alternative investment managers has seen a surge in alternative fund managers who are expressing interest in switching to use its services with an increase of 10% onboarding this year already. It is seeing a rise across all private markets asset classes, with managers stating that the incumbent AIFM providers don’t have the required specialist asset class knowledge in the areas of private equity, real estate, infrastructure, debt and fund of funds.
Ocorian which is establishing a track record of successful onboarding and has a 100% client retention rate for its AIFM services is urging alternative fund managers considering moving AIFM providers to focus on communication and due diligence as the key factors in a successful move.
Thomas Fahl, Head of AIFM, at Ocorian said: “Third-party AIFM providers have historically been seen as more of a long-term relationship. Fund initiators were often viewed as more likely to switch fund administrators – Ocorian has already welcomed over 40 new fund admin clients in the last year, but stay with their AIFM provider over the longer term. However, we’re seeing a mindset shift with clients more likely to ask for an RFP during the relationship and every week we are having conversations with clients who are looking to switch.”
Ocorian’s research* in April 2023 found 23% of managers are looking at switching fund administration provider over the next 18 months. Ocorian believes the third-party AIFM landscape may see a similar trend in the coming years as switching service provider becomes more common practice.
What to consider when switching AIFM provider
Starting communication early and being open about the reasons for a move will help secure support while having a thorough understanding of the new AIFM’s track record and experience including regulatory compliance, team and resources, approach to risk management and fees will ensure there are no nasty surprises, Ocorian advises.
Fund managers should consider creating an FAQ document for stakeholders or hosting a Q&A session while providing regular updates throughout the transition process with a point of contact for stakeholders.
Managers also need to consult with legal counsel, secure AIF board and shareholder approval and engage tax advisers, as well as securing regulatory approval at the closing of the process.
Effective data transfer is essential when switching AIFM as identified by Ocorian’s research. If the relationship with the existing AIFM has broken down, the initiator of the fund has to ensure the incoming AIFM has access to all the data they need, and managers may need to secure additional support to ensure a smooth transfer.
Stephen Hickey, Head of AIFM, Ireland at Ocorian said: “Working with an AIFM provider is a partnership. It is important that both sides are confident the relationship will work over the long-term. That should include doing thorough due diligence and visiting the AIFM’s office to meet the team and build a strong relationship from the start.
“Switching or appointing a new third-party AIFM provider can present challenges. However, these can be overcome with the help of the right new AIFM service provider and at Ocorian we have a track record in making sure the process is smooth.”
Ocorian's AIFM experts are based in Ireland and Luxembourg
Ocorian’s AIFM teams are based in Ireland and Luxembourg and have extensive expertise in managing private equity, real estate, infrastructure, debt and venture capital. Its sector specialists help ensure a smooth alignment on investment processes with the fund manager and offer expertise on complex risk and compliance matters.
Its AIFM services provide the infrastructure, expertise and legal documentation in place in Luxembourg and Ireland to enable the fast and efficient set-up and launch of a new fund or migration from another provider. This enables managers to focus on capital raising, asset management and generating returns.
Why choose Ocorian AIFM Solutions?
Responsive & dependable service
Our teams understand the importance of a responsive service and n you can rely on us to deliver an accurate and dependable service.
We work as a seamless extension of your team and tailor our services to your specific needs.
Dedicated on-boarding team
Ocorian have a dedicated solutions and on-boarding team, that take on the heavy lifting and will take the pressure off you to meet the required timeframe.
100% retention rate
We have had a 100% retention rate of our AIFM clients over the past 15 years.
Expertise in alternatives
We have sector specialists on the team, in the areas of private equity, venture capital, real estate, infrastructure and private debt funds.
Our AIFMs in Luxembourg and Dublin are staffed by specialists in AIFMD, compliance, governance and accounting. We are experienced in handling the day-to-day operations of an AIF in compliance with AIFMD and local requirements. Our AIFM teams are supported by 300+ funds specialists globally who offer multi-jurisdictional and time zone support to fund managers in the US, Europe and Asia.
Breadth of service
Ocorian are also authorised to provide fund administration services and real asset depositary services. As a result, we provide a seamless one-stop-shop solution so you can focus on delivering value to your investors.
At Ocorian we are well placed to support fund managers in a review and potential refresh of your third-party arrangements.