Zedra Fund Services reports little fallout from Covid-19
Zedra Fund Services, the boutique and mid-tier alternative funds administration specialist, has seen little fall out or changes to business patterns during the eight week Covid-19 lockdown which has gripped the UK and all main global markets.
All well run businesses have a continuity plan, but few organisations will have been prepared for the scope of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fund administrators have faced a range of challenges ranging from reporting continuity against the backdrop of significant market swings shredding valuations, to the service challenges presented by lockdown and the forced dispersal of front and back office staff worldwide.
Partly thanks to its offices in Asia, ZEDRA has had some significant advantages over some more European focused businesses during the pandemic. With the lessons of previous flu outbreaks in Asia learned, ZEDRA had already designed, tested and deployed across the group a remote working business model, before lockdown was announced in the UK.
That has been a factor in explaining why the business has been able to weather the storm, with no major interruptions to its fund administration platform reported to date.
Striking an optimistic assessment for future business, Andy Cunningham, Head of Fund & Corporate, ZEDRA Fund Services in Jersey, says: “Flexibility has been the key for us. Zedra supports fund administration clients both via its online portal and one to one. This means we are largely insulated from business interruption risks. Whilst the portal is an excellent way for clients to check on routine issues, for more nuanced enquiries, personal contact is essential and this has not been interrupted by Covid-19, as we have successfully implemented our dispersed working model.”
With its fund administration typically designed around individual client requirements, ZEDRA has invested heavily in both personal service as well as automated systems. “The nature of a specialist fund administration service means that when clients need to talk to us, the personal approach can be a quicker and more effective way of solving the issue, so technology is not always the answer,” says Cunningham.
ZEDRA recently announced it had clinched a mandate for IG4 Capital, where it will provide fund administration and corporate governance services to IG4 Capital’s latest USD231.5 million blind-pool Private Equity II Fund, focused on special opportunities in Latin America.
ZEDRA Fund Services is optimistic about the broader range of new business opportunities that could arise, in particular seeing private funds as a significant growth area, particularly in the context of family offices. Private funds lend themselves to ready adaptation for a family office mandate or start up investment manager. Family businesses, together with the fortunes of family offices, are expected to rebound quickly, presenting new opportunities.
Cunningham says: “We know from our extensive experience looking after the assets of clients globally that family businesses may well emerge more quickly and in better shape from the Covid-19 pandemic than others. Family businesses have an approach that is intrinsically right, often surviving several generations and many economic cycles. The family office, which will look after the family assets, presents obvious synergies and opportunities for us to deploy our funds offering, particularly for clients looking for diversity, imagination and innovation in the management of the family wealth.”