SS&C to buy Wells Fargo’s fund admin business

Another major acquisition in the hedge fund admin world as SS&C continues to grow.
By Jonathan Watkins
SS&C Technologies Holdings has agreed to acquire Wells Fargo’s Global Fund Services business administering over $42 billion in alternative assets.

The move is the latest in a string of acquisitions within the hedge fund administration industry which continues to consolidate.

Through the acquisition SS&C will add 250 employees serving more than 130 fund relationships in US, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong.

“Wells Fargo’s Global Fund Services is well known for its expertise in administering real estate equity and credit strategies. The acquisition of GFS will create a compelling advantage for our customers as they access and manage sophisticated asset classes,” said Bill Stone, chairman and chief executive officer, SS&C Technologies.

“This transaction will expand our capabilities in the global fund market, reinforcing SS&C at the forefront among fund administration and extending our strong cloud-based platform for future growth.

SS&C completed the takeover Citi’s fund admin business earlier this year, while firms like State Street, US Bancorp Fund Services and JP Morgan have also been expanding through acquisitions.

The acquisitions have seen multiple changes in the administration league tables as participants engage in a game of size leapfrog.

This is by no means the end of it, say analysts. With continued pressures on them to provide top quality service to their clients, there is very good justification for administrators to keep buying other businesses over the next few years.

The trend is, in part, a reaction to the changing dynamic in the hedge fund world. Since the financial crisis, concentration among hedge funds has grown with the top 10% of funds now controlling some 90% of total assets, increasing demands on services to be big and global.

“Joining with SS&C will allow us to dramatically accelerate our global growth plans and pace of innovation,” said Chris Kundro, head of GFS.

“SS&C’s innovations in cloud, mobility and fund technology are transforming investment management. This acquisition will create even more value for our customers and will benefit employees as they become part of one of the largest and most reputable fund administrators.”