The process of selecting a new financial services provider now comes with a raft of considerations.
The wider financial services sector is progressing to ecosystems distinguished by frictionless exchanges of data. Environmental, social, and corporate governance (“ESG”) ratings are fast becoming embedded in decision-making, regulation is imposing heightened transparency on operational resilience, and cyber security is now paramount.
For firms that need consistency in their global expansion, single-source solutions from partners operating in multiple countries are also becoming more important.
This all means that any decision to switch to a new financial services firm is a critical one.
To help asset managers assess their options, we have launched an eBook that can be used as a reference tool for selection. We have outlined below some of the key value-add services managers should be seeking.
Probe the value-add proposition
As they have expanded, the more pioneering fund services providers have added new products and capabilities, including banking services, capital introduction, collateral management, ESG and sustainability services, and foreign exchange solutions.
Managers can become dependent on these services, so it’s vital to perform a comprehensive assessment of a new partner’s ability to ensure they can provide the accuracy and reliability demanded.
Our eBook outlines the full set of core questions to put to providers, but some of the key items include:
- Is this a genuine single-source solution for all your needs?
- What is the quality of systems, automation, straight-through servicing and cyber security controls?
- Does the partner provide scalability and skill in your key asset classes?
- Does the firm provide corporate secretarial and directorship services?
- Does it offer foreign exchange and bank account management?
- Will the firm be able to support you with your ESG & sustainability goals?
- Can the firm manage complex fund strategies?
Key steps when switching
Once a new partner has been selected, an agreed timetable is needed to prepare and execute a project plan. From the outset, both parties need to allocate sufficient resources to accomplish the tasks required for a smooth transition. As well as due diligence checks, the plan should also encompass:
- Assessments of full physical and electronic data requirements
- Agreement and signing of full service-level agreements, confidentiality, and service contracts
- Reviews by the new partner of all legal agreements to ensure necessary changes can be verified by legal counsel at an early stage
- Preparation of necessary announcements and contractual changes for notification to investors
- Agreement of data transfer methods and protocols with the prior provider
- Test transfer and reconciliation of calculated net asset value between the prior and new provider
- Live transfer of current and historical data covering at least the complete accounting period to facilitate smooth and complete audit processes
A well-planned transition with full transparency and a shared commitment will help assure fund managers they have made the right call.
Download our free eBook to help you select a new partner.