GP Fund Solutions
GP Fund Solutions has emerged as a fast-growing independent fund administrator with clients in the US, UK, and EU.
Priding itself on client satisfaction and internal culture, the firm now services over 200 funds with a combined $45 billion in assets. The figures are impressive for a firm founded in 2011 in Upstate New York, as the next decade saw it open office in Florida and Boston before expanding internationally this year.
Specialising in servicing closed end private markets asset managers, GP Fund Solutions covers a range of asset classes, and believes its consultative approach matches services to clients’ lifecycle stage. GPFS highlights that 70% of clients partnered with the organisation pre-launch or in early stages.
In addition, it has a 99.9% client retention rate since inception more than a decade ago.
GP Fund Solution’s CEO, Glen Shields, highlighted that the team’s positive culture creates a nurturing, high-morale, low-turnover environment for staff, which, in turn, leads to superior and consistent client deliverables and service.
Hawksford has undoubtedly been one of the more visible growth stories out of all this year’s nominees with milestones, acquisitions and personnel additions all announced over the past 12 months.
Since 2020, Hawksford’s fund administration team has achieved consistent and sustainable growth in revenue of over 33%. This year, the focus has been on both organic growth and an M&A approach.
In July, the administrator acquired Dublin-headquartered Pearse Trust and Mauritius-based Griffon Solutions, as part of its global expansion strategy. “We aim to offer a range of solutions to clients and through our M&A programme and look to acquire complementary services rather than just build AUM,” Hawksford explained to Global Custodian.
In addition, the firm has made a series of high-profile additions to its ranks, along with internal promotions. Some of the hires have included an M&A director, associate director of funds services and a manager in funds accounting.
Recently, the team has been working closely with a number of ESG clients who are active in the ESG space and have started to develop projects off the back of those client wins. Hawksford has also hired a member of staff with specific ESG expertise to develop and progress these initiatives.
Whether organically or through M&A, Hawksford is a firm going places.
The youngest company of all this year’s entries, Petra has made waves in a relatively short space of time – to the point where word reached Global Custodian’s ears about the firm’s work multiple times this year, despite it being a crowded space.
Petra is a single source provider for the fund administration and fund infrastructure needs of venture, private equity, infrastructure and private debt funds. Its platform has been used on over $75 billion in AUM across a variety of funds and entities.
Managing partners Stephen Coats and Peter Haskopoulos explained the journey and the vision to Global Custodian, from its foundations with 40 people to continued hiring in the US and now in Europe.
The co-founders had worked together for 15 years, mostly recently as C-level executives at Riverstone – which eventually became their first client.
“It seemed like in every industry there is a trusted advisor, and we didn’t see that at all in the fund administration space,” they explained.
“The most important thing for managers is to focus on investment and investors – our view is that you can spend 75% of your time doing things that don’t add value. You should just be focusing on deals and investors.”
In 12 months, the team has been incredibly successful, gaining a nice mix of clients, not just emerging managers, but clients on fund two or three, plus some larger clients, like Riverstone.
“Back when we were building the back-office, admins for private equity didn’t exist, the rate was perhaps at 45-50% in existing funds, but what we’re seeing is that every new fund hires somebody.”
Suntera’s rise to prominence over the past three years has been notable through – what appears to be – an aggressive expansion strategy under private equity backers Palatine.
Part of this has come through a significant acquisition programme, including the takeover of two Luxembourg firms in 2021 – boutique fund administration and corporate services firm Reference Financial Services, and fund and corporate services firm NeoTrust Fiduciary Luxembourg SARL.
In addition, the firm acquired US fund administration business Socium Fund Services, and Nedgroup Trust Limited, a specialist fiduciary services provider with a 70 strong team of staff across the Channel Islands.
Outside of M&A, Suntera received a new licence in Jersey last year to provide fund administration services on the island. The licence enables Suntera Global to support private equity, real estate, venture capital and other alternative fund managers with a full range of administration services from Jersey, from fund set-up and structuring, through to back-office reporting and accounting, and governance and oversight.
With teams in Jersey, Isle of Man, Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Malta, Suntera is primed to continue growing in this space. Some of its personnel additions this year have seen the firm add new senior risk, compliance, marketing and people roles. Meanwhile, Dan Bisson was named managing director of Suntera’s operations in the Channel Islands, following the acquisition of Nedgroup Trust, Ian Horswell became global head of business development within the fund services arm of Suntera Global’s international operations and Ryan Taylor was appointed as head of funds for Jersey.