San Francisco-based fund administrator Conifer Fund Services is to open a fund administration office in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as part of its strategy to grow in North America.
Halifax was selected over competing locations based on Nova Scotia’s nearshore advantages including cost, proximity to clients, and access to skilled talent.
“We chose Halifax for our strategic growth plan,” says Jack McDonald, president and chief executive of The Conifer Group. “Halifax will become our key centre for hedge fund administration because it has a highly educated and skilled labour force, low staff turnover, and a high quality of life.”
According to KPMG, Halifax is the fastest growing hedge fund administration centre in Canada. In KPMG’s Competitive Alternatives 2012 Report, Halifax ranks number one out of all Canadian and US cities surveyed for lowest business operating costs in the international financial services sector.
“Halifax continues to attract new financial services firms to the region with their promise of competitive cost advantages, financial incentives and an established financial services cluster,” says Peter Hayes, partner, national director alternative investments at KPMG. “Existing financial services firms, notably the fund administrators, further demonstrate commitment to the region as they continue to expand their Halifax operations. “
One of Nova Scotia’s post-secondary academic institutions, NSCC, recently announced the development of a new Advanced Diploma in Finance which will launch in September 2013.
In addition to the hedge fund administration firms, there are a cluster of companies supporting the hedge fund industry providing services such as legal, accounting, due diligence, risk management and consulting.
Along with new graduates from the province’s 10 universities and 13 community colleges, Conifer will be hiring skilled and experienced workers who have strong backgrounds in finance and accounting.