Experienced hedge fund administrators Ronan Daly, Karen Malone and Eric Bertrand have gone live with their new independent fund administration operation at a time of sweeping change in the fund services industry
Dublin-based Centaur Fund Services started in January with a handful of established hedge fund manager clients - including London-based Oxburgh Partners - and is in advanced talks with several other potential clients.
The three founding partners have worked together in the hedge fund services world for a combined 40 years - initially as the senior management team at Hemisphere for many years, which subsequently became Bisys and was taken over by Citi in 2007.
Daly has been involved in hedge fund administration since 1994, having served as president of Bisys Hedge Fund Services until its acquisition by Citi in 2007. A well-known figure in the industry, he has been an active participant in industry bodies such as AIMA and serves as a director to several hedge fund groups.
Malone has been involved in financial services since 1990 and was also part of the management team that established Hemisphere's hedge fund services business in Dublin in 1998.
She was managing director for Bisys Hedge Fund Services, which later became Citi Hedge Fund Services, and had responsibility for running the hedge fund administration business in Europe until she left to establish Centaur in 2009.
Bertrand has been involved in hedge fund administration since 1997, when he joined Hemisphere in Bermuda. He was also managing director for Bisys Hedge Fund Services, and subsequently for Citi Hedge Fund Services, and had responsibility for running the hedge fund administration business in Bermuda before leaving to establish Centaur last year.
The founders believe that the administration business is undergoing major changes as a result of the recent swathe of consolidation - with a number of players being bought by major financial conglomerates such as Citi, HSBC and State Street - and mounting pressures on the industry.
"Fund managers need administrators who can provide on-time, accurate reporting and an intelligent, informed client service," said Daly. "Moreover, investors, directors and managers are crying out for administrators to take responsibility for the work outsourced to them - in particular to take responsibility for the valuation process."
The Centaur principals believe that many administrators are moving to a low-cost, low-service model at a time of reduced profitability - treating fund administration as part of a bigger overall transaction-processing business - and are starting to step back from their traditional areas of responsibility, particularly in the key area of valuation.
With their 40 years of collective experience, the Centaur principals aim to move in the opposite direction - delivering an independent, top-quality service that provides genuine added value to managers, investors and fund directors.