This is the third consecutive year that Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP (“Anchin”) has won this award. According to Jeffrey Rosenthal, CPA, Partner-in-Charge of Anchin’s Financial Services Group, it’s no fluke: “I believe it reflects the level of commitment to service that we provide to our clients. We’re not commodity-driven. What sets us apart in auditing, tax, advisory services, and accounting, is our level of attention and high partner touch ratio. Our partners get to know the fund managers and their perspectives.” The Financial Services Group at Anchin launched more than 35 years ago and includes ten partners and more than 50 dedicated professionals. It works with over 350 hedge funds, mutual funds, private equity funds, funds-of-funds, master-feeder funds, broker/dealers and family offices.
The philosophy of the firm is to deliver a broad array of proactive solutions to clients. This proactive stance was demonstrated towards the end of last year. When the U.S. undertook a change in tax policy the firm made sure all of its clients were kept in the loop, and as Rosenthal explains:
“We believe that taxes for fund managers and investors will rise but to what extent we can’t say yet. Once the preferential tax treatment of carried interest is finally put to rest there will be other structures created that may be more appropriate or tax efficient for fund managers. So potentially, I think you’ll see changes in the way funds and the related fees are structured.
“From our perspective, if there’s a better structure that is fully within the provisions of the tax code, we would be remiss if we didn’t advise our clients accordingly.”
On providing a high touch service, Rosenthal says that the focus is on understanding its clients’ needs: “We customise our relationships on a client by client basis. Some clients want significant input from the partner, others don’t. Some have internal staffing with strength in accounting, others in tax, while still others need assistance in both of these critical areas. We structure our interactions in a way that we believe can be most beneficial to our clients.”
One important area for the firm is supporting start-up managers and helping them instill best practices from day one. “Many have never run their own business before and have no experience dealing with tax and regulatory compliance issues. We provide advice on how to run their business so that that transition to registration is seamless.”
Building strong relationships lies at the heart of the firm. The goal is to work with clients long term, and this means being disciplined when taking on start-up managers. As Rosenthal confirms: “I’ve talked some people out of starting a fund or suggested a more cost-effective solution to test the waters and see if it’s something they really want to do. It’s not a good investment to spend a significant amount of money during the initial start-up phase if your strategy doesn’t work quite as well as you hoped, or doesn’t appeal to potential investors.
On winning the Hedgeweek award, Rosenthal comments: “I would like to thank our clients and our staff. We have a great team and without them we couldn’t have won this prestigious award again this year.”