The Gemini Companies (Gemini) (now Ultimus Fund Solutions) today shared insights from its recent panel discussion featuring registered fund industry experts. The conversation, part of Gemini’s TLC (Thought Leadership & Cocktails) industry event in New York City, was moderated by Marissa Capodanno, Deputy Head of Content for the Fund Intelligence Group at Pageant Media. Panelists included: Stacy Louizos, Partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath; John Palancia, Independent Trustee; Bibb Strench, Partner at Thompson Hine; and Kevin Wolf, President at Gemini Fund Services.
The experts addressed how the changing market landscape and regulations affect funds and how cybersecurity requirements, cryptocurrencies, distributed ledger technology, and other emerging technology issues will affect board reporting and fund governance.
Mr. Palancia commented: “Robust data and insights are mandatory for the critical decisions and reporting that fund boards now require. In an era of increased accountability, the type of intelligence that fund service providers offer is crucial.”
During the event, the panelists were joined by other subject matter experts from the accounting, legal, and compliance communities. In keeping with the collaborative atmosphere of the event, they detailed their fund due diligence best practices as well as questions funds should ask providers, including:
- “Are they a ‘big box fund administrator’ who has commoditized your relationship?” Make sure they are serving your specific needs and not requiring you to adjust your policy and procedures to match their needs. Verify your definitions of relationship management are congruent and tied to your goals, not theirs.
- “Can they evolve if your strategy involves complex or emerging asset classes?” Request a list of their past and current clients, and understand what their version of responsiveness and engagement is and if it is a match for your expectations.
- “Can their operations/tech model scale to your business?” Find out what their current tech blueprint is, and what upgrades they intend on making in the near future so that your expectations are level-set.
- “What are their compliance processes, including Semi-annual Service Organization Control 1 (“SOC 1”) reports, mock SEC exams, cybersecurity certifications, and ISO 27001 designations?”
Mr. Wolf added: “The goal for this event was to bring awareness to the marketplace of the challenges we are seeing, and to provide the managers and board members in attendance a foundation for thinking these through. At Gemini, we are committed to helping financial institutions achieve their goals and increase their assets under management, and a key part of this initiative is ongoing education for members of the industry.”
7619 GFS 3/20/18