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A reputation for quality in a sector poised for expansion

Established three years ago with one single fund of hedge funds mandate, Swiss Fund Services now administers more than 45 funds from its offices in Hamilton, Bermuda and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Established three years ago with one single fund of hedge funds mandate, Swiss Fund Services now administers more than 45 funds from its offices in Hamilton, Bermuda and Johannesburg, South Africa. The company also has a US presence in New York, and is looking to add a European office during the first half of 2009. Swiss is a member of Altree Financial®, a financial services company regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

Most offshore funds incorporate in the Cayman Islands, as many attorneys have grown comfortable with the islands as a legal jurisdiction. Although Bermuda recently launched its new Launch ‘n’ List initiative to attract more fund incorporations, the nation is nowhere near the size of Cayman in terms of domiciled funds.

However, a considerable number of Cayman-incorporated funds are currently administered from Bermuda. The reason for this unusual dynamic is due in large part to the fact that Cayman imposes no requirement for a local fund administrator. As a result, Bermuda’s administrative presence has grown considerably and is presently the domicile of choice for administration with around 70 administrators providing a diverse array of fund administration services from front- to back-office support.

Bermuda has long been a major player in the financial services industry, with a history that stretches back more than 50 years. After initially fulfilling a pivotal role in global insurance and reinsurance, Bermuda has rapidly expanded into servicing the alternative investment industry. Despite recent market turbulence, alternative asset management inflows continue to increase, and are driving the demand for Bermuda-based administration services.

Over the past few years, there has been a notable increase in the establishment of Bermuda-based fund service providers as the industry’s demand for high quality administrators has dramatically increased. As a result, newly-established fund administrators tend to view client service as a priority deliverable.

Swiss offers a complete suite of administration services, including but not limited to portfolio valuation, shareholder services and real-time reporting. Although Swiss provides individual administrative services on an ad hoc basis, fund managers elect to use the firm because of our experience, expertise and breadth of service,

In the fund administration sector, Bermuda has a strong reputation for regulatory oversight and benefits from the credibility of its regulatory body. Co-operation between the private and public sector has fostered a synergistic balance of transparency, market integrity and investor protection.

Looking ahead, we believe that Bermuda will attract the majority of administration business from fund managers across the globe. Although industry growth will be limited to the extent with which Bermuda can readily attract and retain experienced administrative professionals, Swiss benefits from a robust technological infrastructure that enhances the overall level of client service while simultaneously providing a flexible work environment for administrative professionals and staff. At present, the firm’s clients include funds of funds, single strategy and multi-strategy funds, master/feeder funds, US partnerships, managed accounts and private equity funds.

Chris Harkness is the Managing Director of Swiss Fund Services

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