Dublin, 20 October 2020
Recent months have seen unprecedented changes in both our personal and professional lives. Working from home has become the new norm and the fund industry has made big changes to adapt and adjust quickly. The industry has proven itself to be robust and the transition to mobile working has been remarkably smooth. Ronan Daly, Founding Partner of Centaur, discusses the evolution of fund administration since COVID-19 and the impact mobile working is having on Centaur’s clients which have been busy raising assets during this period.
From Business Continuity to Business As Usual
All industry participants are now dealing with the day-to-day reality of working remotely for a sustained period. The new environment applies to investment managers, investors, asset allocation advisors, due diligence specialists and fund administrators.
One of the key issues for market participants relates to asset raising in this environment. Centaur has seen strong in-flows into the funds it administers since the global work from home environment commenced in March. Successful managers have been able to attract new investment across a multitude of alternative investment strategies. So how have practices changed during this period?
Operational Due Diligence in the Work From Home Environment
A key part of the investment allocation decision is operational due diligence. Centaur is a key service provider to our clients and we are extremely involved in the operational due diligence process. Every day we are participating in video meetings with potential investors and their advisors and we have performed over one hundred demos of our technology, reporting capabilities, accounting processes, cyber protection, and resilience since March. These meetings have been scheduled with institutional investors and operational due diligence consultants and allocation advisors. We have noticed a significant up-tick in such meetings since June as institutional and professional investors look to increase their allocations to a variety of exciting strategies and managers.
Significant Success Stories
Some of our clients who have successfully raised money during this period are set out below:
- London based hedge fund group Gladstone have seen inflows increase by over $835 million this year and have posted extremely strong performance figures which have attracted institutional investors.
- Belerion Capital New Wave Fund is a long / short ecommerce and technology fund which launched in November 2019 and has seen significant investor subscriptions on the back of outstanding performance and its high-profile list of ecommerce advisors and backers.
- Starz Real Estate has also raised significant assets and launched new products as its real estate lending proposition has proven attractive to investors.
Ronan explains: “We are long term business partners to our clients. Over the last number of years, operational due diligence has been a significant part of the investment process for institutional investors. Since our inception we have engaged with these institutions and their advisors and – if anything – this engagement has increased since March of this year. Most hedge funds have withstood the market volatility of this year and the performance of some of our hedge fund clients has been truly outstanding.
Similarly, many of our private equity fund managers are finding tremendous opportunities to deploy capital and so the current environment is one of exciting growth for our clients.
Our platform has remained fully operational and we haven’t missed a beat with the arrival of COVID-19. Not only have we been able to continue to service our clients, but we have helped them to raise new assets. Many of our clients have been extremely successful in their fundraising activities since we went into lockdown in March. Investors have identified private equity funds and hedge funds as providing extremely attractive investment opportunities, especially in an environment of high market volatility and historically low interest rates.”
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