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Horseshoe Fund Services: Best Offshore Administrator

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With all of the changes and uncertainty over the last 18 months, Horseshoe Fund Services has remained laser-focused on its top priorities: its people and its clients. 

Mike Gentile CAIA, FRM, Senior Vice President, Head of US Operations at Horseshoe, comments: “In order to ensure we could continue to deliver on these priorities, we implemented the necessary IT and infrastructure updates to accommodate our staff working from home, and ensured business continuity as we serviced our clients in a business-as-usual manner regardless of our work location.” 

With the health and safety of its staff top of mind, and as the state of the pandemic and its impacts continues to fluctuate, Horseshoe has moved to a hybrid working model so that staff have the flexibility to produce their best work while taking care of their personal responsibilities.

Commenting on key trends in the industry over recent months, Brian Desmond FCA, CSO, EVP, Head of Fund Services at Horseshoe, says: “Given the complexity of business travel at this time, our clients are seeing the impacts of not being able to meet face-to-face with potential investors, mainly affecting their ability to fundraise.” 

Desmond has noticed that investors seem hesitant to invest in new managers without the deep dive that plays out during in-person meetings, which is especially frustrating for newer funds.
He also notes that, as the largest service provider to funds that invest in insurance-linked securities, Horseshoe is driven to specialise in other niche asset classes within its hedge fund operations. “In 2021 we have seen a large increase in clients investing in SPAC investments, especially post new guidance from the SEC, and we remain at the forefront in this area,” Desmond says.

Among services currently requested, those clients that invest in insurance-linked securities (ILS) are increasingly using Horseshoe’s valuation services due to the large catastrophe loss events that have occurred over the last few years. 

“They appreciate that we provide independent actuarial valuation services in-house and that we can provide deep insights on valuation best practices, due to the volume of transactions we service across the ILS market,” Desmond says.

Additionally, clients are seeking greater access to their funds/portfolio data in real-time, which Horseshoe is able to deliver through its technology platform. “Our clients are able to independently run reports on demand and are given full transparency into the status of their portfolio,” Gentile comments. “That, combined with the ability to readily access our expertise for any ad hoc reports, gives them real-time transparency at their fingertips.” 

Desmond adds: “Our clients know that we have touchpoints across the ILS sector due to our integrated business model. This continues to be a competitive advantage that is of great benefit to our clients in a number of ways, primarily the ease of accessing solutions, but more importantly, the efficiency and operational excellence that is derived from heightened levels of communication and coordination across our teams.” 

Brian Desmond, Chief Strategy Officer, Executive Vice President, Head of Fund Services, Horseshoe Fund Services
Brian Desmond is a seasoned practitioner and respected leader within the global fund administration community, with over 27 years of successful experience. He is the Chief Strategy Officer and EVP, Head of Fund Services. Desmond was one of the founding principles, CFO and COO of IKONIC, a specialist Fund Administration and Corporate Services Company, which was acquired by Horseshoe in 2016. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) and acts as Director of a number of offshore fund companies.

Mike Gentile, Senior Vice President, Head of US Operations, Horeseshoe Fund Services 
Mike Gentile is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst and Financial Risk Manager, and is responsible for managing the operations of the US office in Charlotte, NC, including portfolio and fund accounting, as well as investor services. Gentile joined the company in 2012 and has over 20 years’ experience in the area of fund administration, including expertise in investor services, internal controls and procedures, compliance and anti-money laundering. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, with a concentration in Finance.

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