Sector experts predict the future of funds administration
Donna Kaparti 14:15 - 24 October 2023
The future of funds administration, the regulatory environment, fund administration, and taxation are among the issues of increasing concern for experts in the sector.
They were speaking during a panel discussion entitled ‘The Future of Funds Administration,’ held as part of the 9th International Funds Summit & EXPO, organised by CIFA and Invest Cyprus, in Limassol. The panel discussion was part of the Summit’s Operations/ Regulation/ Administration Stage events.
Norman Pepe, Managing Partner/Chairman, iLS London-Milan, UK , Aaron Sammut, Director, Head of Fund Services, Trident Trust, Malta, Anabel Mifsud, Chairperson, Malta Asset Servicing Association, Malta and Paul Broderick, Executive Director, Head of Client Operations Cyprus for MUFG Investor Services discussed current developments and their predictions for the future.
Pepe put forward the logic of "credit recycling.” Expressing the opinion that it will gradually become the strategy of choice for investment fund managers and appraisers, he said he had seen it adopted in jurisdictions like Italy, Cyprus, and Greece, where investors are activating alternative strategies based on the logic of re-performing. These strategies, he commented are more relevant to efforts to implement ESG indicators.
Aaron Sammut, asked to comment on the implementation of compliance rules, said that the use of technology is inevitable and that the question was not if we will integrate it but how. He stressed the importance of utilizing technology in the provision of customer services. Efficiency is by itself the key point, he said, adding that technology must become part of investment strategy.
Anabel Mifsud focused on the need to find people with skills in the investment world, noting that there were fewer compliance issues in the past. Now, the role of stakeholders has changed and the issue is more complex. This is why more analytical minds are needed to understand each strategy, Mifsud said, concluding that the staff employed should be able to adapt and have a strong technological background.
Paul Broderick referred to the advantages of Cyprus as a jurisdiction to talk about the quality of the people here and the know-how that exists in Accounting and Law. He also emphasised fintech which he observed is on the rise on the island.
Finding competent staff and investing in technology are two more advantages of Cyprus, he said adding that the island should become more competitive and promote itself more, for the benefit of all involved.
The panel discussion was preceded by the Chairperson of the Malta Asset Servicing Association.
Mifsud highlighted smaller jurisdictions such as Cyprus and Malta, arguing that service providers are usually more open to considering new managers in them, providing more pre- and post-launch support as they are more common in start-ups.
Services are usually tailored to the manager's needs and how they can best be supported. Also, the servicing of funds is more likely to be carried out in the jurisdiction itself and not outsourced, he added.
The activities of the Operations/Regulation/Administration Stage were preceded by an introduction by Moderation of the Session, Evdokia Stavraki-Stephanou, Director, Sales and Relationship Management, Alter Domus.
Stavraki-Stephanou noted that having been established in 2003, Alter Domus has a global presence, offering services to asset owners and asset managers for all their alternative investments.
In total, the company employs 5,100 workers worldwide with 38 worldwide and 30,000 structures, Stavraki-Stefanou said.
Alter Domus was the Gold Sponsor of the Summit’s Operations/Regulation/Administration Stage.