Will Maydon, Director and Partner of fund distribution firm Campion Capital explains how FE Global Funds Registration (GFR), plays a key role in his business proposition by taking away the administrative and legal burden of fund passporting from his fund manager clients.
“We use FE GFR for fund passporting. It takes a massive headache away from fund managers in the US in particular, who often don’t know where to start when it comes to UCITS.”
Campion Capital is a third-party fund marketer/distributor. The firm works with a number of carefully selected, high-quality fund managers seeking investment. They then introduce them to ‘matching’ institutional clients from its 600-strong network across Europe, the UK, the United States and South Africa. Investors include pension funds, foundations, endowments, private bankers, wealth managers and charities – all of whom seek high-quality investment opportunities.
UCITS funds are at the core of Campion Capital’s business. As a distributor, the firm helps to introduce these funds to new countries when required.
The EU passport is a key component of UCITS as it allows fund managers and promoters to market their funds in other EU countries without having to apply for any additional authorisation. Yet, although UCITS was intended to simplify cross-border fund distribution, diverging practices and expectations across different countries mean fund passporting can still be a complex, time-consuming process.
FE GFR provides a specialised consultancy and project management service that facilitates cross-border distribution of funds, minus the administrative challenges associated with it.
“We wanted to completely outsource the passporting function to someone else. We didn’t know anything about it and we didn’t have contacts in the space, so it was hugely helpful to us to literally dump the problem on GFR. Cost was also a big driver for us”
Why FE GFR?
The relationship with FE GFR began in 2013 with a Google search, followed by a telephone call and meetings with director Martin Neason.
Will cites four main reasons for selecting them.
“I found them to be incredibly nice, open and straightforward people, who clearly had a deep command of their area of expertise. They were significantly cheaper than the incumbent service provider and having worked with them for a number of years now, I can confirm they are ‘brutally’ efficient.”
Prior to 2013, Campion Capital tended to work with existing UCITS funds where the passporting for many countries had already been done. Often, it inherited the fund registration service provider from the fund manager. In the case of new fund launches, however, and sometimes as a replacement for an incumbent provider, Campion Capital introduced FE GFR.
Campion Capital has lots of experience in using different service providers and cares passionately that things are done properly the first time. That means using the right service providers at the right cost. When it comes to fund passporting, the right provider is FE GFR, for a number of reasons.
A collaborative relationship
Will describes the relationship with FE GFR as “extremely collaborative”, particularly with his two main contacts Martin Neason and Charlotte Williams, with whom there is an ongoing mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge on industry questions.
“We’re good friends with them and help each other out,” he says. “They introduce us to potential clients - and we reciprocate. That’s a pretty serious benefit. They are very much an extension of the Campion team.”
Efficient, knowledgeable and open
These are all characteristics that are valued by Campion Capital.
"As I said earlier, they are brutally efficient, they have never got anything wrong and if they don’t know the answer to a question we put to them, they don’t pretend that they do. They go off and find it,” says Will. “We always take their advice.”
Costs are always a factor – particularly when a fund is small and passporting can be a significant cost. FE’s lower fees are welcome in these situations.
The fund registration and distribution capability offered through FE enhance Campion Capital’s service to fund manager clients – particularly in the United States.
“We work with a number of US-based fund managers who are boutique firms really. The UCITS arena is very new to them and having FE GFR within our circle of confidence is a very attractive proposition. It enables us to take a massive headache away from the fund managers, who often don’t know where to start.”
Now an integral part of FE
GFR was acquired by FE on 1st February 2017, strengthening its position as a key partner to the fund management industry. As far as Campion Capital is concerned, however, it’s business as usual.
“We continue to deal with our two main contacts. Nothing has changed – which is good!”
And when asked to sum up the relationship with FE GFR, Will concludes:
“They’re gleaming in our eyes!”