Buy-Side Technology Awards 2013: Best Fund Administrator—SEI

sei-administrator-bstawards2013
Will Carling, Phil Masterson and Victor Anderson

The job of fund administration has become increasingly onerous as hedge funds are relying more and more on their administrators for regulatory compliance support. Form PF created a new reporting paradigm on the buy side, which has since expanded with Form CPO-PQR and AIFMD in Europe. For the third straight year and the fourth in five years, SEI has landed the gong for best fund administrator as it continues to stay ahead of the regulatory curve.

Jim Warren, managing director and head of solutions at SEI, says that nine years ago, his company began focusing on data aggregation functionality in the middle and back offices. That has paid dividends in today’s regulatory environment.

“That has allowed us to aggregate data across product types and different accounting systems, while delivering a normalized data view to our clients,” he says. “That was the foundation of our services, but really what it’s led to is our ability to do things to benefit our clients, such as interactive web reporting, or the ability to aggregate data that is needed for Form PF or AIFMD or CPO-PQR. It has allowed us to have a single, consolidated solution that addresses a major pain point for our clients.”

Over the last 12 months, SEI has invested in enhancing its middle-office services for portfolio processing for both traditional and alternative managers for activities like trade entry, pricing, corporate actions, and reconciliations.

“Once you have all that data in a middle-office style, it allows investment managers to enhance their services,” Warren says.

After creating a suite of services for Form PF, SEI then turned its attention to providing investor information for Know Your Customer (KYC) reporting that will allow users to more effectively manage their investor data.

SEI, with $550 billion under administration, delivers accounting, investor servicing, year-end audit/tax support and financial statement preparation; and provides daily cash and asset reconciliation, pricing, portfolio reporting, and estimated net-asset values (NAVs), among other services. The firm’s manager dashboard has also been improved to provide one tool that looks at one set of data across many different product lines.

“A differentiator for us is that it gives clients the ability to make good business decisions—and to have a good understanding about their business—based on one consolidated view of data,” Warren says.

SEI Reaction:
“Buy-Side Technology’s recognition of SEI as best fund administrator for the third straight year is further affirmation of the continual development and innovation we put into our operational platform for our clients and their investors. SEI remains committed to delivering bespoke solutions via high-touch, experienced teams who think like business partners and act as a valued extension of our client’s organizations. In addition to our core set of full-service administration services and best-in-class technology, our fund manager clients benefit from the stream of action-oriented business intelligence and insights that assist them in crafting winning business strategies, implement best practices, and act on emerging issues. We deeply appreciate the continued confidence our clients have in entrusting their businesses to us, and thank Buy-Side Technology and Waters for this honor.”
—Phil Masterson, senior vice president, investment manager services, SEI

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