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UMB Fund Services launches platform for registered funds of hedge funds

UMB Fund Services has launched a platform geared to the servicing needs of registered funds of hedge funds in the US, offering a technology infrastructure designed to manage partnership allocation requirements, large transaction volumes and more comprehensive investor demographic data associated with registered funds.

A registered fund of hedge funds is registered under the US Investment Company Act of 1940. Unlike traditional hedge funds with a limited number of investors, a registered fund of funds has no limit on investors and can offer access to hedge funds to a broader audience. As a result, registered funds of hedge funds have evolved into a retail product similar to mutual funds.

'We have been monitoring the current market demands and the opportunities to service the registered fund of hedge funds sector,' says Gene Cichanowsky, managing director of the alternative investment group at UMB Fund Services.

'We recognised the need to develop an effective product and service platform that could manage and process a high volume of transactions in a controlled and timely environment.'

The firm says other service providers typically serve registered funds of hedge funds through existing proprietary and legacy systems and processes, but these 'band-aid' solutions often fail to meet investors' servicing expectations and tend to be extremely costly for fund sponsors.

According to UMB Fund Services, it has not tried to shoehorn the needs of registered fund of hedge fund clients into an existing service model but established a new model based on the firm's experience of providing investor services to mutual funds and hedge funds.

It says the platform combines the strengths of SunGard's InvestarOne and InvesTier products, offers a cohesive and co-ordinated client model, and is capable of processing and servicing an unlimited number of investors in a registered fund of hedge funds

'We believe the key to offering a successful service model is our ability to effectively communicate with our clients and maintain an open dialogue in order to meet their expectations,' says Maureen Quill, executive vice-president for investor services at UMB Fund Services.

'At the same time, our fund administration and investor servicing departments work closely together on a daily basis. This cross-departmental interaction allows us to quickly respond to our clients' needs and provide them with quality solutions.'

UMB Fund Services offers a range of products and services to the fund industry including administration and fund accounting, alternative investment services, investor services and transfer agency, marketing and distribution, and custody. The firm, which also co-sponsors an umbrella fund, the Investment Managers Series Trust, is part of UMB Financial Corporation, a USD9bn financial services group based in Kansas City, Missouri.

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