Reflections on NAFAA’s First Year

Reflections on NAFAA’s First Year

By Chris Meader, Founding Director at North American Fund Administration Association

February 1 marks the 1 year anniversary of the official launch of the North American Fund Administration Association, a trade group to enhance the alternative fund administration industry.

We first want to thank the 9 firms who are now members: Apex, Basiz, Centaur, Circle, Horseshoe, IPS, Stone Coast, Sudrania and Ultimus. These firms along with others that have expressed interest in the association recognize the benefit of collaboration to define standards for the industry and to solve similar challenges in the unregulated private fund administration industry.

Much of our first year was spent spreading the word about the association and gathering feedback on opportunities to improve the industry. We had conversations with representatives from over 75 alternative fund administrators with nearly unanimous support for the goals of the association. We also met with representatives from hedge and private equity fund managers, institutional investors, capital allocators, lawyers, auditors and due diligence providers who voiced their support as well.

We established a monthly industry newsletter in May that contains relevant news and events for the industry and provides an update on the progression of the association. We are happy to say that we now have 300 subscribers with more than 200 of these people coming from administrators.

In May and September, we held admin-only events in NYC that brought together representatives from over 35 different administration firms to discuss SEC examinations and administering crypto funds. We received positive commentary following these meetings with many pointing out this is the only forum where only administrators can gather and talk openly on issues that impact the entire industry. We are now planning our next all industry event for March focusing on fund administrators as targets for cyber attacks (stay tuned for more details).

November saw the initiation of our member working groups where operational leaders from each member meet to discuss and agree on minimum standards and best practices for the industry and discuss operational risks, issues and trends that are impacting the industry. We have started with 4 groups: accounting, investor services, technology and risk/legal/compliance and anticipate adding more in the future. Feedback on the working groups has been positive as many that work in operations in the industry have never had the opportunity to discuss and share common issues and trends with their peers in other firms.

We look forward to 2019 as we continue our working groups, all industry events and work with our members to identify additional opportunities to improve the alternative fund administration industry. For those of you interested in hearing more please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at chris.meader@nafaassociation.org

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