Last year Opus Fund Services successfully rolled out its automated NAV calculation system called JET. The firm started building JET in 2017 but 2018 saw the system go live and CEO Robin Bedford believes it has the potential to change the industry forever.
“JET reduces NAVs processing times by over 90 per cent, removing people from the process, results in significant cost savings, and reduces the risk of human error,” says Bedford (pictured), “Since its introduction, tens of thousands of accounting entries have been automated and thoroughly tested. Each month we use system driven metrics to further enhance the system. We learn how to tweak the inputs to improve the straight through rate.”
Utilising proprietary technologies previously implemented across its Shared Service teams, JET automatically retrieves data from multiple external sources and normalises the information into tens of thousands of accounting entries per month.
The considerably reduced NAV production times allows the Opus fund accounting team to spend more time, performing detailed analytical review. This balance of automated technology and human expertise presents the ideal marriage for the future of the fund administration industry.
Bedford says Opus Fund Services operates in a commoditised industry which spends significant marketing dollars trying to persuade clients to buy customised, unique, premium, expensive services. Bedford explains what differentiates the firm in this environment: “Our approach has been to think differently by simply embracing the commodity perception. Developing our own technology allows us to focus in areas that we think can add most value to clients whilst embracing smart automation.”
Founded in 2006, the firm’s goal has been to provide a single solution for all clients, regardless of complexity, which does not discriminate based on fund size.
Over the past year, the firm has been focusing on organic growth and providing complete client satisfaction. In 2018, Opus Fund Services added 173 new funds across 136 client relationships, representing an increase in client base of more than 33 per cent year on year. Bedford notes: “We have seen an increase in private equity, venture capital and real estate funds launching and choosing Opus for their administration needs.”
Bedford says the major administration trend has been consolidation to pursue rapid scale. However, he notes: “We prefer to think alternatively and focus on executing our core strategy. This is to scale using superior technology and process, not incremental people.”
Going into 2019, Opus Fund Services is working on a number of exciting initiatives. Bedford says the firm’s primary goal is to improve the data gathering process while focusing on total automation. “This is no minor goal as we work with hundreds of different banks, brokers and counterparties, some of which are more automated than others,” he says.
The Hedgeweek award is a testament to the work carried out by the Opus team. “Our team commits countless hours to execute our ‘alternative’ strategy. Industry recognition shows everyone that our strategy is working, and that their efforts have been worthwhile.
“We are honoured to be recognised for our efforts within the fund administration industry. Within Opus, our constant innovation is driven from a culture that questions everything. There is a relentless pursuit to continuously improve what we do, and how we do it. Thank you to Hedgeweek and its readers for the recognition,” Bedford concludes. n