Industry Leaders Spotlight

Private Equity Fund Administration, Client Service - SS&C

Congratulations on your win at Global Custodian’s Industry Leaders awards. What – for you – were the contributing factors behind the successful year that led to this/these award?

SS&C’s main differentiator isn’t just great technology – it’s a combination of technology and services. We are thankful to our clients for recognizing us for service we provide to private markets, because it’s such an important focus for us. In an era when strategic relationships with key providers are becoming more important for fundraising, we really see ourselves as partners to our clients, and their success is imperative.

This year, we grew our team to deliver the critical knowledge and support to our 530+ clients across Private Equity, Real Assets/Infrastructure, and Private Credit Hybrid Funds. We now have more than 1300 professionals worldwide focused on helping our clients navigate the increasing complexity of private markets today. We are continuously investing in our people and our technology. Given ongoing labor constraints in the market, more and more clients are relying on outsourcing their operations to us and focusing on generating returns.

Our Private Markets service offering provides the traditional fund accounting and investor services and combines it with industry leading software for a straight-through-processing experience. Additionally, we provide data, front office, middle office and investment-level services as well as compliance and regulatory and tax offerings as seamless or stand-alone modular services, depending on client requirements. All-in-all, we really focus on flexibility, breadth and depth, and we are happy to see that focus resonating with clients.

Could you outline some of the main achievements and milestones from the year?

This year, we focused on helping clients address some of the macro trends in the market. One such trend was the growth of private credit, where we have a lot of expertise. Another trend was the strengthening of the hybrid fund trend, which has brought additional challenges for hedge funds and private markets funds alike.  SS&C focused on helping clients tackle the growing data processing challenges with the help of intelligent automation. Following the acquisition of Blue Prism, we integrated more AI and RPA technologies into data management and processing to help clients scale. For instance, many of the challenges in the last year have required a tighter focus on KYC regulations in the private market. Our fully digitised KYC onboarding software embraces biometric and AI authenticators to speed up and reduce burden for KYC onboarding. We  also used AI-enhanced software to simplify reading, understanding and adapting to process documents used within our loan servicing division.

We also created a global hybrid team to help tackle the challenges of evolving private market structure.

How do you plan to build on this success going into 2023?

One of the best developments of 2022 was combining our top-notch fund administration teams across industries. The line between private equity/debt funds and hedge funds continues to blur; managers are exploring open-ended structures that offer liquidity, while hedge funds are continuing to explore more illiquid instruments to portfolios. Hybrids entail complex accounting methods, making it more difficult to strike a reliable and accurate monthly NAV. Fund managers must also be able to demonstrate controls for operational risks and comply with disclosure requirements. The complexity of hybrid funds increases the risk of errors in fund accounting, investor allocations and fee calculations. As an administrator skilled in both closed-end and open-end funds, we are in a good position to help. Our experts on both sides are collaborating daily to come up with solutions for our clients’ unique challenges, and we look forward to continuing to enhance both our technology and service next year.