What is a fund and what does a fund administrator do?

An investment fund is a pool of money belonging to a number of different investors which is used to collectively purchase securities (e.g. stocks, bonds or other assets), therefore providing each investor with a broader selection of investment opportunities than they would have access to individually.

Typically, fund administration comprises two parts: fund accounting (see fund accountant) and the activities of registrar/transfer agent. Fund Aadministrators that concentrate on the latter provide a set of services that support the running and managing of a fund. They do all the back office financial paperwork (particularly with regards to applications and transfers), support the investment team in the administration of the assigned funds and ensure the efficient planning and execution of the day-to-day functions. They must also set up funds correctly from a financial and legal perspective to minimise risk and optimise governance and control.

In some instances, fund managers will have multi-domiciled funds that require a comprehensive and expert range of fund administration services that provide compliance as well as operational success. These are often handled by specialist fund administration consultancies that provide expertise in the administration of areas such as complex multi-jurisdictional investment structures and international holdings and property companies.

Key responsibilities

  • Co-ordinating all investment applications
  • Preparing and collating due diligence information, including appropriate compliance documentation, cash transfer processes and post completion follow-up under the guidance of the Fund Manager
  • Supporting the transfers team
  • Registering and settling all asset types and transferring assets to and from funds
  • Assisting with dealing-related enquiries and providing information relating to funds, portfolios, prices, dealing procedures, markets and currencies
  • Processing paperwork for trades and related activity
  • Ensuring accurate investor records are maintained and processing all investor changes/ transfers
  • Preparing manual and electronic payment instructions to settle fund expenses and ensuring maintenance of the electronic payments library
  • Co-ordinating company secretarial matters, including documentation for board and shareholder meetings
  • Preparing and distributing shareholder statements and investment manager reports
  • Circulating interim and end-of-year financial reports to shareholders
  • Ensuring regulatory and statutory filings are made in timely manner; ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering procedures
  • Reporting of fund transactions to fund accountants

Why are they important?

As well as ensuring financial and legal compliance of a fund, the duties undertaken by a Fund Administrator allow the Fund Manager to concentrate on the areas where they add value – for example, investment decision making and growing the assets of the fund.

Skills needed for this role

Fund administrators should have high levels of numeracy, accuracy and attention to detail. They should also be organised and efficient with the ability to work to tight deadlines, as well as having excellent interpersonal and communication skills to liaise effectively with clients.

Strategic Professional Options examinations linked to this role

There is no single most relevant Strategic Professional exam option for this particular role. You should therefore select those option exams which are the most appropriate for the specialist area you are interested in working in and/or the subject areas in which you have previously performed well in.

Career opportunities presented by this role

Fund administrators are employed by various financial institutions, including investment banks, stockbrokers, insurance companies and specialist fund management companies. There is a good career structure - administrators can progress to senior administrator and then on to team leader and manager level roles.

Competencies

High level competencies required include:

  • Governance, risk and control

    A. Evaluates organisational structures and governance to protect the long-term interests of stakeholders.

    B. Recommends appropriate strategies to ensure adherence to governance structures and application of best practice internal controls.

    C. Identifies and manages risk appropriately.

    D. Uses risk management for the best interests of an organisation and its stakeholders.

    E. Monitors and applies relevant legislation, policies and procedures.

  • Stakeholder relationship management

    A. Positively develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

    B. Communicates and gains commitment from internal and external stakeholder.

    C. Uses emerging technologies to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.

    D. Applies professional and ethical judgement when engaging with stakeholders.

    E. Aligns organisational strategic objectives with stakeholder needs and manages expectations.