To address the changing dynamics of the fund services industry, SunGard is expanding its transfer agency capabilities by adding a full-service industry utility offering to its managed services suite.
The key catalyst for this expansion is SunGard’s acquisition of the US long funds transfer agency business from Citibank, N.A. - a transition of shareholder servicing responsibilities that reflects the evolving landscape of the industry.
SunGard has been providing transfer agency solutions for well over two decades. Prior to the transaction, Money Management Executive’s 2014 Mutual Fund Service Guide ranked SunGard as the second largest technology provider based on the number of mutual fund complexes supported.
Since the financial crisis, sub-accounting and new regulatory requirements have driven a number of top-tier financial institutions to rationalize their transfer agency functions, increasing their focus on, and investments in, such capabilities as fund accounting, administration and custody. Through its dedicated transfer agency utility, SunGard can provide asset managers, third-party administrators (TPAs) and custodians with an independent service that does not compete with their own core competencies while offering the scale advantages of a large, global service provider.
“The ramifications of the financial crisis have asset managers and TPAs reviewing their service models. Increased expense pressure, a focus on institutional assets, industry factors and antiquated platforms have resulted in a re-evaluation of whether the transfer agency function is still a viable offering for them,” said Frank Strauss, Principal, Beacon Consulting Group. “All the while, market dynamics are driving an explosion in new products and jurisdictions, so a neutral transfer agency utility could be well received by the market at this time.”
As well as answering the industry’s demand for a utility offering, SunGard is now positioned to deliver scale and efficiencies that other service providers and large asset managers struggle to achieve alone. Underpinned by modern architecture and supporting same-day processing, SunGard’s technology and services are primed to manage the specific operational requirements of an extensive range of investment products. Additionally, SunGard is making a multi-million dollar technology investment in hardware, infrastructure and software upgrades to support future product evolutions and further global expansion of its transfer agency offerings.
Doug Morgan, President of SunGard’s institutional asset management business, said: “This is a natural extension of SunGard’s current transfer agency capabilities and will help reinforce our position as a leading provider of managed services to financial institutions. We continue to invest in new and enhanced technologies while helping to ensure a seamless customer experience, and believe this new business model will result in improved services and features for our current and future customers.”
This announcement comes just weeks after the launch of SunGard’s industry utility for derivatives processing, underscoring its commitment to delivering a full spectrum of capabilities to the financial services industry by combining market expertise, innovative technology and a proven managed services infrastructure.