Global Custodian hands Lifetime Achievement award to Ultimus co-founder Bob Dorsey

Coveted annual honour goes to fund services veteran who is set to retire in March 2021.

By Editors

Global Custodian is pleased to announce that Ultimus Fund Solutions co-founder and industry veteran Bob Dorsey is this year’s recipient of our Industry Leaders Lifetime Achievement award.

Dorsey has served as vice chairman of Ultimus since February 2019 and had also previously been its president and CEO for over 19 years when the fund administration firm was founded in 1999. 

During his tenure, he oversaw the business development and growth opportunities for the company, where it has become one of the leading independent service providers for the mutual fund, exchange traded fund (ETF) and alternatives investment fund community.

As a result, the company has swept multiple awards in recent years at Global Custodian’s Industry Leaders awards in New York, following resounding feedback from clients on their service received.

Ultimus has also sought to take on the fund administration giants of the industry with its own string of acquisitions, including Huntington Asset Services in 2015 and the takeover of Woodfield Fund Administration and Gemini in 2018. 

“When we started the firm, our goal was not to be the biggest mutual fund administrator in the industry but simply the best in the industry,” said Dorsey.

“One of our objectives was to elevate the status of fund administration to the level of other professional services, such as investment advisory, legal and audit services, and to always focus on delivering the highest level of client services.

“What I’m most proud of is the fact that Ultimus has been the top-rated fund administrator in the industry as rated by our clients in the annual Global Custodian survey for six years in a row. That is incredibly satisfying to me, and I’m very proud of the culture we have built.”

Prior to co-founding Ultimus, Dorsey was president of Countrywide Fund Services. During his 15 years at Countrywide, he held various positions including treasurer and chief financial officer (CFO).

Speaking during Global Custodian’s Industry Leaders awards, Dorsey discussed his early years in fund services and how Ultimus began.

“When I entered the fund services business back in 1984, the firm I worked for had their own mutual funds and did their own servicing of those mutual funds,” said Dorsey. “A couple of years after I joined the owner asked how we take this cost centre and turn it into a profit centre by providing mutual fund servicing for other groups.

“We took up that challenge and ultimately started servicing third-party fund groups. We grew that business and then our firm got acquired by a very large organisation. And then my partners and I decided to go do this for ourselves.

“What started as a one-service organisation has now morphed into an administrator for any pooled product that our clients have.”

Dorsey will be retiring effective 31 March 2021. He will remain a part owner and will continue to have a vested interest in the company. Meanwhile Mark Seger, co-founder and vice chairman, will maintain his current active role with the firm. Dorsey will remain a part owner and will continue to have a vested interest in the company.

“This is a very innovative industry and it will continue to innovate,” Dorsey said in conclusion. “I do think we are going to see differentiation in products. We’ve been through the cycles in the past with long-only funds, long-short funds, now ESG is a very prevalent strategy so who knows what the strategies will be three, five and 10 years down the line.

“I want to thank all the employees and clients I’ve had the opportunity to work with over the years, many of you are my friends and I look forward to seeing you somewhere down the road.”