Multi-award-winning hedge fund administrator Opus Fund Services was established in Bermuda in 2006, subsequently expanding its footprint into the US with offices in Chicago (2008), San Francisco (2009), New York (2013) and most recently Portland (2014). It serves over 200 fund managers and 300+ funds with a combined AUM exceeding USD10bn.
The service model offered by Opus is based on complexity made simple: ONE platform, ONE process, ONE price, ONE solution.
This is serving Opus well. According to Jorge Hendrickson (pictured), Director of Sales and Business Development, 2014 was a strong year in terms of onboarding with 154 new clients on the platform.
“I’d estimate that 75 per cent of our clients last year came via new launches. The other 25 per cent were conversions from other administrators; managers leaving a smaller administrator as they move to institutionalise their business, parallel moves from other similar sized administrators, as well as, and most significantly, managers moving from larger administrators. The strategic shifts at these larger firms and banks benefited us and we expect that to continue in 2015. Given our reputation within the industry, managers aren’t sacrificing their name by moving to us,” says Hendrickson.
As well as seeing an uptick in private equity, venture capital and real estate strategies during 2014, Opus continues to focus on traditional hedge fund strategies. “We have seen many managers stick to the basics, focusing on stock picking and “best ideas” investing. We also continue to do a lot in the peer-to-peer lending space; indeed, we have become one of the leading administrators supporting managers in this activity,” says Hendrickson.
In addition, Hendrickson is seeing continued growth in the managed account platform space, partly driven by the need for FoHF firms to evolve their offering. “We’ve seen a good number of managed account platform mandates launch over the last 12 months. We understand that space well in terms of structuring, launching and operating these structures.”
”We think this will continue in 2015,” says Hendrickson who suggests that another important trend emerging is the establishment of series-based funds; where managers establish the main fund and offer underlying series, which are often launched to allow investors to customise their exposure to the manager and the investment strategy that is being offered.
“Rather than going into one fund where the manager is allocating and running all the money pro rata, why not allow the investor to say ‘If you have 10 positions, can we launch a series where I only have exposure to these 5’?”
“We are currently working on several launches right now that are using this structure; they tend to be portfolios where the manager might be a value investor expressing their best ideas in a concentrated portfolio. Others are more hybrid; indeed, a few launches are managed account platforms that are allowing investors to choose which underlying managers they want exposure to. I think the series-based fund is going to be an interesting trend for the next year,” opines Hendrickson.
Each series has its own particular investor base, expenses and portfolio etc. Operationally, the administrator has to tag investors according to the series that they have chosen, but Hendrickson confirms that the Opus’s platform technology is flexible enough to accommodate.
“Our technology was built in such a way that it allows us to adapt quite easily to new trends,” says Hendrickson.
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