Editors’ Choice Awards 2022: Private Markets Initiative of the Year

Ahead of next month's Industry Leaders Awards in New York, Global Custodian takes an in-depth look at the shortlist for Private Markets Initiative of the Year. 

By Chris Lemmon

Apex Group – Private Debt/Credit Solutions 

Apex is included in this list for a range of launches and developments in the private debt space over the past 12 months. In June, the administrator launched its Credit Data Lens (CDL) product in June – a secure, cloud-based portal which allows asset managers a complete real-time view of their credit portfolio from their desktop, smartphone or tablet device. 

CDL displays real-time loan performance data and break down of transactions and loan portfolios as well as daily fund and asset level P&L calculations. This loan data is displayed in a visual platform with highly customisable reports and dashboards, suitable for all groups within each organisation. 

Eddie Kelly, global head of loan services, Apex Group, said at the time: “With the explosion of interest in credit strategies, we are excited to launch these new capabilities as part of our robust, adaptable and scalable suite of industry leading technologies. The Apex Credit Data Lens provides our clients with unparalleled visibility of their portfolio as part of our complete credit services ecosystem, to ensure a seamless data flow through all aspects of the fund and help managers to achieve their goals.” 

Apex’s Private Debt Fund Managers platform also provides managers with a technology platform with seamless data flows between loan agency and loan administration (as appropriate) and fund administration through to manager, portfolio and investor reporting via a cloud based portal. 

Broadridge – Private Market Hub 

Blockchain initiatives have long been talked about and tested in the securities services industry, but only a few have been successfully implemented within the current global operating system.  

Broadridge Financial Solution’s Private Market Hub is one of those projects, leveraging DLT to alleviate the complexities faced by asset managers with funds in multiple geographies. The platform claims to be the only fully-operational multi-tenant enabled platform for the private equity market, with the ability to service funds across multiple jurisdictions.  

After launching the service in Guernsey, Private Market Hub is now available to funds domiciled in North America, with Northern Trust going live with the first group of North American clients. 

“We are delighted that Private Market Hub is now available to North American domiciled funds – it comes at a time of explosive growth in the US, with PE fundraising tipping $400 billion and assets under management at an all-time high of $2.9 trillion,” said Mike Sleightholme, Broadridge’s President of asset management solutions, in September.  

“This latest set of enhancements is a first for the industry. It creates workflow and operational efficiencies for both US and multi-jurisdictional funds, giving them the ability to standardise processes and data across jurisdictions, avoiding disparate silos of client data.” 

DTCC – Tokenisation Initiative 

Back in 2020, DTCC published the results of a project that sought to address a range of issues including manual processes, market fragmentation, regulatory uncertainty and a lack of trusted providers.  

One conclusion from that report was the need for institutions across the custody chain to better interact with one another. As a result, DTCC developed the Digital Securities Management (DSM) platform, aimed at improving the issuance, transfer and servicing of private market securities through tokenisation.  

DTCC said the DSM platform has potential to deliver the concept of tokenisation to an illiquid market, something that’s been discussed in the securities markets frequently in recent years. 

The platform will offer access to participants through both central and distributed infrastructure, leveraging a cloud-based architecture to enable the book entry recordkeeping of securities as well as support the burgeoning digital asset ecosystem by providing the option to create tokenised representations of a security. 

Michael Bodson, president and chief executive of DTCC, said: “The DSM platform offers a unique opportunity to implement new technology and streamline processes in the private markets while relying on the secure and resilient infrastructure that we have long provided for the public markets.” 

HSBC – Administration Platform 

In March, HSBC unveiled the launch of an administration platform for asset owners and managers, offering digital workflow and reporting functionality. 

The platform, powered by financial technology provider SEI, has been designed to enable investors to oversee all aspects of their operating model – from fund accounting to investor reporting. 

By doing so, HSBC hopes to provide a much broader and more efficient service to general partners and limited partners of investment firms in the illiquid alternatives market, including private debt, private equity, real estate and infrastructure. 

At the time, Tony McDonnell, global head of alternative investments, markets and securities services, HSBC, explained that the private asset sector is important to both asset owners and managers seeking additional yield as part of a diversified investment allocation strategy. “Given the return opportunities from private assets, we have seen increased demand from investors in this sector wanting the ability to scale their operating model in an automated manner, with access to clean and accurate data. 

“Data normalisation and aggregation is much sought after by private asset investors, and this new platform will provide this across asset classes and digital delivery channels.”