With only 8 business days away from the yearly ALFITA & Distribution Forum 2015, the two founding members of the ALFI TASC, Josée-Lynda Denis and François Génaux, ponder on a few TA-specific subjects that are of actuality these days.
- Changing TA fee structure: With increasing cost pressure on TA service provision, the priority is on - operational efficiencies - (even more than before), such as process automation, outsourcing and offshoring, additional services, in order to provide as seamless a TA service delivery and business model as possible, that adapts consistently to an ever expanding global cross-border fund distribution infrastructure
- Increasing regulatory & tax specifications: With the wave of regulations over the last few years (i.e., MiFID, EUSD, RDR (UK), KIID, AML/KYC, FATCA, CRS,…), all of these impacting how TAs conduct their daily business and bringing forward many considerations such as:
- An increasing demand for specialised and experienced staff, fully trained on new topics
- The impacts of banking secrecy and tax transparency
- Increasing reporting requirements bringing in even more customised reporting to end investors, including standardised reporting to local authorities, etc.
- Less plain vanilla funds – move and convergence to alternative/complex structures & products: These are bring about new/revised financial instruments (hedge, Limited partnerships, securitisation vehicles, etc.
- Cross-border distribution & local client servicing specificities: constantly having to adapt to increasing global fund distribution markets, bringing even more local/cultural specifics & servicing differences in terms of account maintenance and transaction processing, time zone coverage, language skills, etc. – for optimum service delivery and local reporting
- Increasing complexity for distribution value chain demands to meet cross-border specifics, local/global due diligence on distributors (KYD), distributor oversight, etc.
All of the above points result in the following observations:
- TAs no longer look for “untrained but motivated” resources. They are looking for experienced and well-educated specialists – bearing in mind that well-educated specialist no longer fit nor suit the “old salary grids” any more
- TA organisation and operational team composition is changing from a hierarchy-driven model to a team of qualified experts
- TAs have to review and adjust their “standard” service offering in a way that complex/specific services, formally considered as “add-on” are now treated as standard and client expect to have them included – not priced separately.
Some food for thought as you broach these subjects in a few days time…