Today’s transfer agency mantra: Automate, automate, automate

By Dylan O'Brien Senior Product Manager
May 11th 2022

Here’s the problem: while all the interactions in our personal and professional lives are becoming ever more digitalised and automated, fund administration remains beset by manual, often paper-based processes.

From banking apps and TV streaming to online shopping and food delivery, seamless, on-demand services are becoming the norm. Investors – especially as digital native Millennials and Generation Z come to the fore – increasingly expect similar levels of ease, immediacy and business continuity in their investing experiences.

With tolerance for paper-based processes diminishing (a trend accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic), digitally enabled, automated workflows must take their place. Investors’ top two expectations, noted Deloitte’s Asset Servicers Survey, are for a seamless customised investment experience and access to a portfolio of digital support in real time. Transfer agents, as the central link in the fund value chain, will need to oblige.

The admin demands keep coming

And digitalisation isn’t the only priority issue fund administrators face.

Mounting fee pressures demand concerted action to improve firms’ operational efficiencies. A history of M&A and internal development initiatives have left many administrators with a hotchpotch of asset-specific transfer agency platforms working off multiple databases and with little to no integration. Cost, manual workarounds and risk proliferate in such environments.

Regulation is complex, expanding and full of jurisdictional idiosyncrasies. Strong compliance controls and fit-for-purpose regulatory reporting capabilities add to firms’ resource pressures but are a must-have.

Alternative investments are also following a structural upward trend. All the asset servicers surveyed by Deloitte see the most significant growth opportunities in alternatives. Servicers though will need to adapt and expand their offering and areas of competence to take advantage.

The solution to these challenges lies in an integrated transfer agency platform that can provide today’s fund administrators with the fund-agnostic toolset they need to thrive. One that is digitalised, streamlined and multi-asset class.

Meet ManTra

We developed the ManTra solution with a specific purpose: to provide fund administrators and investment managers with a complete investor servicing software suite designed to accommodate all their needs.

ManTra combines our deep industry expertise with tried and tested administration and compliance capabilities to automate all aspects of the investor servicing cycle for offshore and onshore hedge funds, partnerships, private equity vehicles, real estate and retail funds. Armed with a multi-functional, integrated platform able to support all asset classes and fund structures, administrators can cut the cost duplication and risks they currently face. Having a single source of the truth also enhances data integrity, and improves transparency and the quality of investor communications. And the modular software design means users can automate those processes most important to them.

  • Support for complex fee calculations

Fee calculations are central to investor servicing, but bring huge complexity and customisation demands. ManTra’s flexible fee engine supports the full suite of fee calculations for different asset classes. Each fee method can be set up one time, providing investment managers and administrators with ongoing operational efficiencies and error mitigation. Users can also tailor the calculation as per the prospectus and in line with any model changes and new regulatory guidance, without compromising robustness or scalability.

  • Allocate income across complex multi-fund structures

Income and expense allocation, especially across multi-fund structures, is another complex pain point, with firms typically relying on cumbersome, error-prone spreadsheets to do the calculations.

With our comprehensive allocation engine, an easy one-time setup of entities yields a lifetime of accurate, efficient profit & loss allocations from top to bottom, all the way down to the investor. ManTra can call reporting directly from third-party portfolio accounting systems and automatically allocate the retrieved P&L across the fund structure. Capturing the detail at each level assists with standard NAV pack creation, client requests, tax reporting and reconciliation. The result is reduced processing times and confidence the allocations are correct.

  • Dynamic digital experiences to enhance investor communications and client engagement

Investment managers and their investors enjoy powerful self-service capabilities through the ManTra Web solution. Investors can submit orders and documents online, easing the workload and enabling efficient straight-through processing for all parties in the value chain. Orders are available in real time for the administrator to take through the investment process using ManTra’s automated rules and workflow capabilities. Managers in turn benefit from up-to-date information on capital flows.

Via the portal, end users have on-demand access to a range of portfolio information and customisable reports, without compromising the controlled release of data. Reports can be taken from any source system, enabling administrators and investment managers to provide their clients with a single, aggregated information outlet.

  • Strengthen AML/KYC controls

Regulators’ anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) rules are tough, and only getting tougher. ManTra’s in-built AML/KYC capabilities provide easy, efficient and accurate compliance monitoring to strengthen users’ control culture across the organisation. A generic API allows connectivity to potentially any third-party screening provider, such as World-Check and the Dow Jones Watchlist, delivering initial and ongoing entity monitoring in an automated, efficient fashion. Users manage by exception, while protecting their business against financial and reputational risk.

  • Automate order and payment processing

ISO 20022 messaging support and seamless third-party system integrations through ManTra’s open API model automate data exchange. Direct connectivity to order routing platforms such as Calastone and EMX allow ManTra to accept incoming orders automatically, while a payment module integrates with banking systems to process ISO 20022 payments initiation messages.

  • Improve operating efficiencies and meet SLAs

Administrators must document and track a growing number of client delivery and compliance responsibilities across global teams within agreed SLAs.

With ManTra, users can create and assign tasks across multiple offices and time zones to ensure timely completion against internal and external SLAs. Documenting tasks and tracking performance in this way enhances management reporting, improves accountability, and helps pinpoint and address inefficiencies across teams and processes. Removing paper checklists also cuts the admin work involved and reduces the risk of errors.

Always looking ahead

Leading banks and fund administrators use ManTra’s advanced technology to strengthen their internal controls, save time and money, deliver quality services that boost client satisfaction and grow their business. But we know our work is never done. Change is constant, and we need to stay abreast – and where possible ahead – of developments. Which is why Deep Pool’s expert team of accountants, business analysts and software engineers remain focused on evolving our solutions in partnership with clients, to ensure they have the tools and support to meet whatever challenges lie ahead.

ABOUT DEEP POOL

Deep Pool is the #1 investor servicing and compliance solutions supplier, providing cutting-edge software and consulting services to the world’s leading fund administrators and asset managers. Our flexible solution suite, developed by an experienced team of accountants, business analysts and software engineers, supports offshore and onshore hedge funds, partnerships, private equity vehicles, retail funds and regulated financial firms. Deep Pool is a global organisation with offices in Dublin, Ireland, the United States, the Cayman Islands and Slovakia. For more information, visit: www.deep-pool.com.

 

Dylan O'Brien
Dylan is responsible for all areas of the software development life cycle across the Deep Pool product range. Dylan has over 20 years of experience in software development and client support for the fund administration industry.