For the last several years eVestment has published a seminal annual survey on the global Alternative Fund Administration industry. This year is the 16th edition of the survey, and it was released at the end of April. The survey includes funds with over USD $6.6 trillion in combined total assets under administration, and consists of hedge funds, private equity firms, real-estate funds, funds of funds, and liquid alternatives.
As usual, the survey is full of really compelling insights into the state of the alternative investment industry. We encourage everyone in the industry to read this survey – but we especially recommend that fund administrators read it. The survey can be found at eVestment’s site here. There is also a great recap of the survey from Tabinda Hussein at ValueWalk that can be found here.
We wanted to highlight some important points that jumped out at us from the survey. First, let’s start off with some good news for the industry in general, and for Fund Administrators in particular:
- Alternative investments continue to grow as an important avenue to improve performance and provide greater diversity within investment portfolios
- Growth was most strongly seen in Private Equity and Real Estate, and firms in these asset classes are increasingly looking to third party administration for help
- Fund Administrators that have been dedicating both financial and human resources to improve their offering have become key players in the ongoing health of the alternative investment industry
Now, let’s talk about some of the more sobering insights from the survey:
- Many see massive changes looming in the alternative investment industry – especially with Hedge Funds. This is translating into some real concern, and the expectation is that there is trouble on the horizon
- When respondents were asked whether they “foresaw net entries or exits from the fund administration industry”, almost 74% of respondents answered “exits”
- Increasing regulatory procedures and requirements are adding complexity and additional workload, which is making it harder for fund administrators and fund managers alike to stay current and afloat
For us here at BaseVenture, much of the results of this survey served as validation of the important role that we are aiming to play with Fund Administrators, Private Fund managers, and Private Banks.
Here are three quotes from the survey that jumped out at us, because they nearly perfectly sum up both the over-arching problem, as well as the solution that we offer to help solve:
- “The subsequent demand for institutional quality infrastructure and the imposition of new regulatory regimes have required a renewed emphasis on operational accuracy and efficiency.”
- “Overall, fund managers realize that they will have to put more focus on cyber-security and technology solutions to improve administrative capacity. One administrator explained, ‘Apart from regulatory events and financial market conditions, we expect an increasing tendency for client firms to be savvier about core technology, control environments, cybersecurity, and investor presentation. As a result, there will be growing demands for technology maturity amongst fund administrators.’”
- “One large U.S.-based fund administrator said that while managers have stuck to their performance fees, management fees have been adjusted by funds. However, as ensuring compliance and transparency has become more expensive, it has been harder to make reductions in management and incentive fees.”
We created BaseVenture to help Fund Administrators, Private Banks, and Private Fund Managers spend less time on operations, and more time generating growth. Fund Administrators and Fund Managers that are feeling the pain points that are detailed in this survey should know that BaseVenture can be a valuable partner to help them further position themselves to take advantage of the opportunity “boon” that this industry still holds.
Learn more about us at www.baseventure.com
Sources: All quotes included in this blog post were taken either directly from the eVestment survey or the ValueWalk article referenced at the beginning of this post.