Industry Leaders Awards 2019: One to Watch in Fund Administration nominees

Global Custodian takes a deep dive into the nominees for its Editors’ Choice awards at this year’s Industry Leaders Awards event. Our next category is One to Watch in Fund Administration.


By Jonathan Watkins


Intertrust had been on Global Custodian’s radar throughout 2019 following a number of big-name hires and regional expansions, but it was an acquisition that cemented its place on this list of our competitive One to Watch in Fund Administration shortlist.

The Dutch administrator announced this summer it would acquire Viteos, a tech-enabled provider of middle and back-office services, in a deal worth $330 million, bolstering its technology capabilities and reputation through the well-received agreement.

A winner of multiple Global Custodian innovation awards itself, Viteos operates a global delivery model with its headquarters and sales team in the US and Indian Centres of Excellence and the combination of the two companies is an exciting one.

The deal also fits in perfectly with the strategy set out by Intertrust CEO, Stephanie Miller, to become a global leader in tech-enabled corporate and fund solutions.

Her vision seems to have struck some chords with those in the industry, attracting a swathe of talent to the firm throughout the year. During 2019, Miller managed to lure BlackRock’s director of investment accounting operations, Deirdre Hochma, to the team, along with Citi’s Patrick O’Brien who became its global head of funds in May and Ian Lynch, the former global head of alternative fund services at BNP Paribas.

Intertrust has also been expanding regionally with new offices opening in Ireland, Paris and China, along with an extension of its services in the US. The Viteos acquisition will also enable Intertrust to leverage the technology provider’s offshore centres of excellence in India.

In a space where consolidation is rife, those who plan to survive are focusing on technology enhancements and a wide-range of offerings with extensive global expertise and people on the ground in as many markets as possible.

Under the guidance of Miller, with Viteos at their side and a strengthened team in the US, the future is bright for Intertrust.

PEF Fund Services

The private markets are arguably the fastest growing in the market so it’s only right to recognise one of the rising stars of this sector in our One to Watch category.

While the likes of SS&C, Citco and Apex Group hail as the giants of the private equity space and are honoured in our survey categories, the boutique PEF Fund Services feels like the unsung hero of the private markets servicing space garnering positive industry feedback, securing countless new mandates and upgrading its offerings.

The firm’s new business wins have reached double figures over the past two years as private equity firms increasingly look to outsource their administration during their purple patch.

PEF has put an emphasis on transparency, reporting and access to data in response to an increasing demand for these requirements from its clients. It’s becoming a complex space as those active in the private markets turn to their service providers for more data than ever before, demanding more granular, near real-time performance reports. Subsequently, PEF has responded with enhanced performance reporting and data visualisation over the year highlighted in its new investor portal launched in September.

“PEF stands out for the investments they’ve made in technology and the ability to handle the complexity of gathering, managing, and aggregating the data and making that process more efficient,” said Andy Kemp, managing director at private equity firm First Capital Partners, commenting on their relationship with the provider.



When Onno Bouwmeister, divisional managing director of alternative investments at Vistra, told Global Custodian that the administrator had grown its team from 250 people in 2008 to 4,300 in just over a decade, we had to double check the numbers.

Through a mix of organic growth and acquisitions Vistra has multiplied its numbers and continues to attract some of the industry’s finest talent from some of the largest providers in the sector.

“We see an interesting flow from the big four at the moment as well as the big banking players,” explained Bouwmeister. “We have former JP Morgan, State Street and Citi [employees] and what I really like is that we are operating as a team, meaning ‘we have each other’s backs and support each other.’ That is what we stand for, how we stimulate and motivate our people, empowering them to act as a senior member of the team.”

Some of Vistra’s recent moves include snapping up Scott Kraemer from State Street, and Michael Sheahan, previously of Citco. The administrator also announced a new CEO, CFO and compliance director in North Asia.

Last month, the fund administrator also added 25-year Citi veteran, Jervis Smith, as its country managing director for Luxembourg, along with Eric Lodge as senior director, client services and Stephen Smith as sales director for Canada, days later, as part of its efforts to bolster its client services and sales teams in North America.

Vistra doesn’t solely earn its place on this list for its recruitment efforts either in another active year for the fund administrator. The firm launched its Economic Substance Services and Solutions Classification Questionnaire in July designed to help clients determine the classification of their BVI company as it applies to the substance legislation. Other highlights include two new offices in India and enhancing its corporate services offering in the UK through a rebrand of Jordans Group to Vistra, along with a similar move in the US with Radius, a US-based international expansion services firm.