Maples FS unveils platform for start-up managers

Fund AdministrationLaunches
19 Jan, 2012

Maples Fund Services (FS), the global fund administrator is launching a platform for start-up and emerging managers who are hoping to generate a track record.

Incubator, which is being rolled out this month, will offer managers offshore legal services, accounting, technology access and corporate governance. It will enable managers to build a track record prior to marketing without incurring excessive expenses.

According to Christina McCarthy, senior vice president at Maples FS in Dublin, two managers have already signed up. “Depending on market conditions, we are aiming for somewhere between 20 and 30 launches by this time next year,” she said.

Managers will be charged a fixed fee. Most hedge funds joining the platform will trade vanilla strategies such as long/short equity.

“There are numerous start-ups at the moment, particularly with prop desks being spun out from investment banks due to the Volcker Rule. Raising capital is challenging as many institutional investors are reluctant to allocate to small managers with a limited track record,” said McCarthy.

“We invest time working with potential fund managers and developing relationships with the mangers. Our goal is to support these managers in establishing a track record and grow with them as they progress beyond the incubator stage, targeting capital from larger investors with more rigorous due diligence and reporting requirements. Professional investors expect an institutional infrastructure and this can be a challenge for potential fund managers, particularly the smaller ones,” she added.

In 2010, Custom House Global Fund Services launched its own SICAV umbrella platform for start-ups in Malta. The Nascent Fund is aimed at managers with assets of around $5 million to $10 million and provides administration, legal and auditing services.