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Joy Crouse, Circle Partners

Building traction as a US onshore administrator


Circle Partners has been providing offshore and European onshore support for the last 17 years. The current focus of expansion is to support US managers by providing onshore fund administration services for the same. 

"We look to partner with our clients and tailor our services as much as possible to meet their needs," says Joy Crouse (pictured), Business Development Manager of Circle Partners. "We have an experienced, committed team and have a low turnover by industry standards. Our operations team in the US has been intact for nine years."

Circle provides a comprehensive range of fund administration services to its clients including: fund accounting, asset valuation, financial statement preparation and investor services. Additionally, in offshore jurisdictions it provides fund formation and corporate services, as well as FATCA and CRS reporting. 

"We focus on core administration services to deliver a high quality solution. Our reporting is accurate and timely and our clients appreciate our hands-on approach to both them and their end investors," remarks Crouse.

Although based in North Carolina, Crouse travels regularly up to New York to meet with prospective clients, confirming that a variety of new managers – both start-ups and emerging managers – have been onboarded in 2017, with a noticeable pick-up in activity since September. 

In order to build this traction in the US onshore market, Circle dedicates a lot of time to building out its network of service providers, which in turn is helping Circle to establish a name and reputation. 

"We are progressing well in terms of building out our service provider network," notes Crouse. "Our clients view us as a trusted advisor and often ask who we recommend for their prime brokerage, legal, and tax and audit needs. We are pleased to be able to refer our clients to reputable service providers that are well suited to meet their needs, both in the US and in offshore jurisdictions. 

"This has proven to be a two-sided coin. Service providers in our global network know the quality of our work and recommend us to their clients when they are looking to appoint a fund administrator."

She adds that prime brokers and attorneys generally feel comfortable referring clients to Circle to act as the appointed fund administrator by virtue of the fact that it is so competitive on fees; a key consideration for any start-up or emerging manager looking to build a long-term sustainable business.

Crouse confirms that year-on-year, Circle's worldwide business has grown by 10 per cent.

With its ability to structure offshore funds and offer administration services to US managers, as well as offer in-depth advice to US managers looking to do business in Europe, the US is viewed a huge opportunity for the Circle group. 

"As a global firm with a long-standing presence in Europe we can lend our in-depth knowledge to US clients wishing to establish funds in Europe; in particular the Netherlands, Malta, Luxembourg and others. I'm currently speaking with a US manager who is looking at the Netherlands as a possible option," confirms Crouse.

"Overall, we are committed to expanding our US client base and operations. We seek to grow our name and reputation as a trusted and reliable fund administrator in the US, just as we've done in Europe." 

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