Conifer and Vastardis to merge

Fund Administration
03 Feb, 2014

Conifer Group and Vastardis are to merge as consolidations continue in the hedge fund administration market.

The deal is likely to close in the first quarter subject to regulatory approval.  The newly formed company – Conifer Financial Services – will be based in San Francisco and will oversee more than $70 billion in Assets under Administration (AuA) for approximately 200 clients.

Jack McDonald, currently chief executive officer at Conifer will become president and CEO of the joint venture while William Vastardis, founder and president of Vastardis, will be named chairman.

The combined company will provide portfolio accounting, reporting, investor services, tax services, data warehousing, trade execution, prime brokerage and technology services.

The deal will enable the firm to provide services not only hedge funds but funds of hedge funds, endowments and foundations, private equity and venture capital. The merger also gives the company a larger global footprint with offices in San Francisco, New York, BVI, Singapore and Toronto.

The fund administration market is highly saturated with many experts predicting only the largest standalone or bank-backed firms will survive.  A number of the smaller administrators have struggled to make decent revenues as their clients failed to grow their Assets under Management (AuM).

There have been a series of mergers in the fund administration space. In November 2013, US Bancorp Fund Services acquired the Dublin-based Quintillion, having already purchased AIS Fund Administration in 2012.  

Other high profile deals have included the take-over of Butterfield Fulcrum by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and SS&C’s acquisition of GlobeOp. The highest profile deal of late was the acquisition of Goldman Sachs Administration Services by State Street AIS. 

ConiferVastardisM&AGoldman SachsState StreetButterfield FulcrumMitsubishi UFJSS&C GlobeOp AISUS BancorpQuintillion