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As investor demands rise, Client Service becomes the most important differentiator for fund administrators

As investor demands rise, Client Service becomes the most important differentiator for fund administrators

Dublin / New York, March 23, 2023

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In the competitive landscape of funds, fund administrators are constantly seeking ways to differentiate themselves and gain a competitive edge. While operational efficiency and technological advancements have long been a focus, client service has taken the spotlight in the battleground for success.

Traditionally, administrators have competed on factors such as cost-effectiveness, reliability, and expertise in regulatory compliance. However, as the industry evolves and clients' expectations change, delivering exceptional client service has become increasingly vital. Today, fund administrators are realizing that client service is no longer just a complement to their core offerings, but a key differentiator that can influence client retention and attract new business.

Several factors contribute to the growing importance of client service in the fund administration space.

  • Increased regulatory scrutiny have made asset managers and their investors more risk-averse and demanding. They seek administrators who can provide personalized and timely responses to their inquiries, address concerns proactively, and demonstrate a deep understanding of their business needs.
  • Technology has empowered clients with greater access to information, real-time reporting, and self-service tools. As a result, they expect fund administrators to provide seamless digital experiences, intuitive platforms, and transparent communication channels.
  • The rise of alternative investment strategies and complex financial products has increased the need for specialized knowledge and tailored solutions. Clients now require fund administrators who can navigate complex structures, offer sophisticated analytics, and provide strategic insights that can aid decision-making.

To succeed in this evolving landscape, administrators must adapt their client service strategies accordingly. Key considerations include:

  1. LISTEN TO CLIENTS: This seems pretty obvious, but many administrators fall into the trap of communicating “to” investors rather than “with” them. A two-way partnership needs to be established with the administrator listening and acting on investor requirements. This leads to more satisfied clients and long-term retention. Centaur is proud to say that they have not lost a client since their inception in 2009.
  2. PROACTIVE RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT: Taking a proactive approach to understand clients' evolving needs, challenges, and long-term goals enables administrators to offer tailored solutions and anticipate potential issues.
  3. SEAMLESS TRANSITION PROCESS: Changing fund administrators is a significant decision. Funds and their investors can no longer afford any service disruption during a transition. A dedicated, experienced transition team needs to be in place to plan and manage the end-to-end transition process, ensuring it runs as seamlessly as possible.
  4. HIGHLY CUSTOMIZABLE, REAL-TIME, CLIENT-DRIVEN FUND SERVICES: Administrators need to understand the importance of building a scalable platform that remains capable of meeting the individual needs of each client.
  5. TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION: Leveraging advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, can automate routine tasks, enhance reporting capabilities, and enable administrators to focus more on high-value client interactions.
  6. REGULATORY KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE: Regulatory and fiduciary requirements have increased significantly over the past few years as the demand for transparency grows. The administrator needs to have the knowledge and expertise to ensure clients navigate successfully through administrative and regulatory requirements.
  7. STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH THIRD PARTY PROVIDERS:It is important for a fund administrator to work in close partnership with other fund service providers such as auditors, lawyers and tax advisors.
  8. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT: Implementing feedback mechanisms, conducting regular client satisfaction surveys, and actively seeking client input can help administrators identify areas for improvement and enhance service delivery over time.

Des Johnson, Global Chief Revenue Officer at Waystone, says: “As competition in the market increases and investors demand more from their fund administrators, those that prioritize client service will emerge as the winners.”

He continues, “Centaur is committed to providing exceptional client service to its clients. The company has invested in technology and training to ensure our staff are able to provide timely and accurate information to our clients. Centaur’s dedication to client service has been acknowledged by many accolades internationally. But more importantly, it has been recognized by our clients, who have consistently rated the company highly in client satisfaction surveys. In fact, in Centaur’s most recent Client Survey, 96% of surveyed clients indicated a high level of satisfaction with Centaur while 98% said they are likely to recommend Centaur’s services. We are incredibly gratified by this result and are committed to maintaining this excellent record.”

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