Best North American Hedge Fund Administrator – Opus Fund Services
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), Portland (2014) and most recently Dublin. It serves over 250 fund managers and 325+ funds with a combined AUM exceeding USD10.5 billion.
As well as seeing an uptick in private equity, venture capital and real estate strategies during 2015, 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," says Jorge Hendrickson, Director of Sales and Business Development.
One of the reasons for increased private equity fund activity is the amount of cash on the sidelines and the search for yields by investors. There is also an improved M&A environment, leading fund managers to make direct investments into growth companies, real estate and physical and luxury assets.
"Whilst we've seen a number of event driven and long/short equity fund launches this year, private equity and venture capital activity has picked up tremendously," comments Hendrickson.
Hendrickson 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 ten positions, can we launch a series where I only have exposure to these five'?"
"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.
This year, to help further expand the firm's footprint, Opus established a new office in Dublin, Ireland; its first foray into Europe. It is still early days of course, but Europe is potentially an important area of growth for Opus. Hendrickson points out that Opus this year has also been doing an increasing amount of work for family offices who have a wide range of investments and receive numerous financial and fund performance statements each month/quarter, finding it difficult to get an overall sense of how these investments are doing.
"We have therefore helped them by consolidating their investments to provide them with a single view of their overall portfolio and books/records; they receive a single consolidated report, which makes it a lot easier to keep track of their investments, allowing them to make more strategic decisions," says Hendrickson.
On winning this year's award for Best North American Hedge Fund Administrator, Hendrickson comments: "We are honored to have received this recognition as a result of votes from our clients and peers. We continue to put our customers first and look forward to another exciting year with new opportunities."