Boutique fund administrators engage in M&A activity to kick off 2022

As we open the new year a series of acquisitions have been made by smaller administrators including Suntera Global, Standish Management, Waystone and ZEDRA.

By Wesley Bray

The new year has begun with a considerable amount of M&A activity from boutique administrators, with several announcements of acquisitions being revealed over the last two weeks.

While January is a traditionally active period for M&A announcements in the space, the profile of acquirers this year is slightly different.

The latest move has seen Suntera Global acquire specialist fiduciary services provider Nedgroup Trust, as it looks to further enhance its presence in the Channel Islands.

The acquisition will extend its reach into another tier one jurisdiction in Guernsey and add complementary expertise to Suntera Global’s Jersey office and wider international footprint.

Meanwhile, Standish Management has acquired Alpha Alternatives Fund Services, a boutique fund administration firm for hedge funds and other investment vehicles.

Since being founded in 2007, Standish has experienced steady growth and currently has more than $250 billion in assets under management.

Standish’s acquisition of Alpha Alternatives Fund Services looks to bring increased opportunities and services to each firm’s clients, while providing a service solution for innovative, hybrid fund structures.

Another boutique administrator which has engaged in M&A activity over the last couple weeks is Waystone, which has acquired T. Bailey Fund Services (TBFS), as it looks to strengthen its presence in the UK Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) market.

Through the acquisition of TBFS, Waystone continues to grow its ACD capabilities in the UK through the addition of an established provider. The two firms will have a combined ACD-related assets under oversight of more than £10 billion.

Rounding up the M&A activity of the first two weeks of January,  ZEDRA has acquired independent pension trustee and governance services provider PTL.

The transaction looks to bolster ZEDRA’s pension services in the UK, which now consists of five offices in the UK and an increased headcount of 70 dedicated pension experts and support staff.

Alongside boutique M&A activity this year, we have also seen larger fund administrators make moves in the opening weeks of the year.

Global administrative services provider TMF Group recently completed the acquisition of Brazilian fund administration platform Paraty Capital.   

Following the acquisition, TMF Group will now administer over €160 billion of assets on behalf of its fund manager clients, offering end-to-end fund administration solutions in Brazil, the US, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey, Luxembourg, Singapore, India, Hong Kong, China and Australia.  

The acquisition falls in line with TMF Group’s growth strategy which includes growing its global fund services business and bolstering its capabilities in the Americas.  

Lastly, Apex Group has acquired New Zealand-based fund administrator MMC as it continues to pursue its comprehensive geographic expansion plans.

The move adds $68 billion in assets to Apex Group’s ever-growing tally, which has now exceeded $2 trillion.

Although this acts as a relatively smaller acquisition – compared to its recent $2 billion takeover of Sanne Group – the addition of MMC provides Apex Group with its first presence in New Zealand.