UMB Bank: Best Custodian – High-touch service is key in the private equity arena due to the manual nature of preparing investment documentation and the expertise required to do so accurately. To develop the specialised skillset required to service these clients UMB Bank has been investing in building and developing a team with deep product expertise.
“UMB has experienced a significant amount of growth in the private equity sector. New clients have sought out UMB because of our first-class service model within the PE space,” says Amy Small SVP, executive director of Institutional Custody at UMB.
The firm utilises industry standard procedures to lead clients through the laborious onboarding and subsequent activity execution. However, UMB also feels it is extremely important to tailor the process to fit client needs. Small elaborates: “Each client is unique, we value these important details and establish calls well before start date to ensure our team has a thorough understanding of all nuances. This approach is critical to accurately completing documents on the clients’ behalf. We bring to the table the skills and knowledge to be able to customise our processes to fit the client needs and desired level of involvement. In addition, because we do this for a large number of clients we have centralised knowledge clients may not otherwise have access to without using someone with our skill set.”
UMB has a good reputation and as a result, clients can collateralise their PE holdings, regardless of size. The firm has established relationships with certain lenders who have confidence in its process and oversight. Further, as a qualified custodian, UMB provides the service to register investments in its nominee name. “With this, we act as authorised signers on their behalf and maintain their investments on our books and records. We obtain and track market values based upon the PE schedules, so our clients have accurate and adequate reporting for both internal use and for their lending agents,” Small notes.
According to Small, one of the key challenges in the private equity arena is that the regulations outlined within the SEC Custody Rule are quite dated and do not necessarily address the current investment strategies, including private equities. She says: “Qualified custodians are essential to providing independent possession and control to protect investor assets. We have an expanded group with the expertise to ask the right questions, complete needed documentation, and aid with subsequent AML requirements. We believe the work that we do on the AML requirements is above and beyond what our competition does. We will handle all of this for the PE clients registered in our name, so they can rely on us for those details.
“Our relationships within the industry, including with administrators and investments, make the communication easier and the fulfilment of investment requests timely.”
Going forward, UMB is laser focused on enhancing its technology offerings to add more self-service functionality and ease of instructing transactions in a secure, efficient manner. “As we partner with various lenders, we look to automate collateral feeds, enhance SWIFT functionality, and continue to develop customised solutions to meet the ever- changing demands of the PE client base.
We are actively involved in industry groups to stay informed on global regulatory updates to ensure we are prepared for the future,” Small concludes.
SVP, Executive Director of Institutional Custody, UMB Bank
Amy Small is executive vice president, executive director of Institutional Custody at UMB Bank. UMB has more than 70 years of custody servicing experience with domestic and global transaction processing with straight-through processing, a robust security master that can accommodate data requirements of complex holdings, integration with large accounting providers, corporate actions processing, securities lending partnerships, as well as cash management services.