How can you ensure your fund is onboarded successfully with a new fund administrator? How do you know that your requirements will be met, your fund will be appropriately set up, your deliverables clearly defined, and your timelines correctly scheduled? In the third and final blog of our series, we reveal the five things you need to consider for a successful onboarding experience.
1. Experience matters: Make sure your fund administrator understands your strategy and product
Before planning begins, it’s imperative that the fund administrator takes the time to listen and understand your strategy, your needs, and the product you are looking to onboard. It’s important that your new partner aligns with your goals because this forms the building blocks of the partnership. Both parties need to identify key resources—including people, systems, and software at the onset. The goal of the fund administrator is to become an essential collaborator and business partner.
2. Project management is essential: Make sure your fund administrator takes the lead, developing a timeline, role and responsibility assignments, deliverables, and more.
Next, you should build and establish a robust and accurate project plan. Together, identify key milestones—such as when you expect the product to launch, when you expect the first close of your fund, and when certain documentation is required by the fund administrator. These milestones need to be identified and well-documented upfront to ensure that there are no delays down the line. Equally essential is establishing key point people from both parties. A qualified fund administrator can draw from experiences to develop, in coordination with you, a solid, viable, and realistic project and implementation plan.
3. A partnership is critical: Determine SLAs and reporting requirements
Reporting plays a huge role in the onboarding process. At this time, discussions should include, but not be limited to:
- – What outputs do you want to receive, and at what frequency?
- – What will the handoff and approval processes look like?
- – What specifications will each deliverable require?
- – How much lead time does the fund administrator need to deliver reporting?
- – What are the required components of such reporting, and how does that lead time fit into your process?
This stage forms the basis of the fund administrator’s procedure and is formalized into a service level agreement (SLA) to govern the service relationship. The SLA is drafted and agreed to at this stage.
4. Align efforts: Don’t overlook data validation
Your fund administrator needs to validate the data in the system, ensuring it captures the details of your product appropriately. It’s also important to establish delivery standards, defining capital call or financial reporting requirements and respective formats. Integrity checks need to be completed, ensuring data and output are captured correctly on the fund administrator’s system. All stakeholders must sign off before the onboarding process is complete, ensuring there are no disconnects or breaks in the workflows and deliverables.
5. Technology is key: Test, test, test
While some fund administrators have adopted innovative technology platforms, they need to be aware of challenges that may arise during onboarding. They should be well-versed on common pitfalls, offering effective guidance and relevant solutions along the way. That said, rigorous testing of functionality, connectivity (with all parties, inclusive of any external vendors), and more must be vetted before the fund goes live. This final stage ensures your fund administrator is a true extension of your team.
We’re ready to talk
CSC is one of the world’s largest privately-held businesses to offer fund administration and depositary services across key financial jurisdictions around the globe. We have been serving our clients with unparalleled service for 120 years. Our experienced team is dedicated to making the onboarding experience seamless, assigning one relationship manager per client. We listen, grasp the nuances of the situation, find optimal solutions, and deliver robust technologies that meet your unique needs.
View all of the blogs in our three part series: