With €440 billion in assets under administration, Jersey-headquartered fund services provider Aztec Group has been steadily making waves in the industry.
Not a serial acquirer like some of its counterparts in the same bracket, Aztec Group prides itself on being an independent, owner-managed business that puts its clients at the centre of everything it does. This approach has led to one in three of its clients migrating from other service providers.
Since its foundations in 2001 in Jersey, the administrator now employs over 1,400 people across five jurisdictions and most recently expanded into the US through a new office in Philadelphia.
Its other offices reside in Guernsey, Jersey, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK.
Among its mandates and milestones this year – which included supporting funds like Nordic Capital, Advent International and Advent Tech II – Aztech also hired securities services industry veteran, Kevin Hogan, to lead its services in Ireland. Hogan joined from State Street where he had operated for seven years, having latterly served as managing director, head of product, alternatives EMEA.
One of the most active businesses in the fund administration M&A space over the past year has been JTC Group, adding four businesses during that time. However, the additions of Essential Fund Services, SALI, Ballyunion Capital and Segue Partners only tell half the story.
The firm’s half year results showed a growth in revenue of 38.8% to £93 million for the period ending 30 June 2022, reflecting net organic growth of 9.5% and inorganic growth of 29.3%. New business wins were up 22%.
Some of the headline wins have included a fund administration mandate from Avistone for its commercial real estate fund and Adit Global Growth.
Outside of the acquisitions and integrations, JTC Group has also been adding personnel at a rapid rate. A handful of those include: Martin Punt as director – fund & corporate services, Elize Botha as managing director – South Africa, and Mariana Enevoldsen, who joined the Guernsey funds business as a client services director.
JTC Group said it has a healthy pipeline of merger and acquisition opportunities going forward, meaning the activity should continue into the New Year, making it an interesting challenger to watch going forward as well.
In an unsurprising 12 months of evolution, Ocorian has gone from winning Global Custodian’s Fund Services One to Watch award in 2021, to being featured in our Challenger of the Year shortlist for 2022.
Back in February 2020, Ocorian merged with Estera to create – what it referred to – as “a business of international scale and reputation”. Since then, there have been acquisitions, organic growth and the establishment of a roster of serious talent.
The past 12 months has seen a range of personnel additions from some of the industry’s largest players, as Ocorian has added a new chief financial officer, chief people officer and head of transformation. To list the rest of the hires would use up the rest of this article.
The growth of the business has been impressive too. In January, the administrator opened an additional office in New York City, close to Bryant Park. Meanwhile, this summer, Ocorian received three new licenses from the Central Bank of Ireland and also launched a new strategic client group, focused on maximising client cross-sell opportunities and across its five service offerings.
Ocorian provides fund administration services to over 1,000 businesses across 14 onshore and offshore jurisdictions including Luxembourg, Jersey, Guernsey, UK, Cayman Islands and Mauritius. It has US$270 billion in assets under administration and employs 1,500 professionals.
By some definitions, Waystone is not strictly a “challenger” in the asset management servicing space, serving AUM in excess of $2 trillion, however its fund administration offerings do fall more into this bracket.
Waystone acquired T. Bailey Fund Services – an independent fund administration service provider to the UK fund management industry – and Centaur Fund Services at the start of 2022. The latter deal, Waystone claimed, saw a third party management company move to integrate a fund administrator to complement its service offering for the first time, versus the established route of fund administrators adding management company services.
The Centaur deal was a big one for Waystone. Founded in 2009, Centaur provides fund administration services to over 120 different client groups who manage in excess of $200 billion.
The acquisition added office locations in North America, London, Bermuda, Ireland and Luxembourg, and as Waystone put it, saw it double down on its home base of Ireland, where alongside the recently announced transaction with KB Associates, it will finish the year at close to 500 Irish based employees.