Fundhost wins $460m advisor client

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ARA Consultants, a Victorian-based financial advisory business specialising in advising families, some of them quite wealthy, has appointed FundHost as fund administrator and RE for its $460 million under management after an extensive review.

Alan Rimmer, ARA managing director, said: “The fund has grown such that the use of a professional responsible entity is prudent. The separation of duties between investment management and fund governance will serve to further enhance our clients’ interests.

“After an extensive market survey and deep due diligence we selected Fundhost for, among other things, their integrated service model. Combining the RE and admin roles provides a higher level of investor protection and is more efficient. The fact that they, like us, are a boutique didn’t hurt either.”

Debbie Comben, ARA’s general manager of operations, said Fundhost was a “big boutique” with industry-leading partners like NAB Asset Servicing. “This gives Fundhost the ability to be high-touch while at the same time deliver robust operational service,” she said. ARA’s main fund was launched in 2004.

Like fund managers, unlisted privately held administrators regard their staff and management ownership as a comparative advantage compared with the listed competition. Drew Wilson, Fundhost joint chief executive – alongside founder Anne Monge – said the new appointment took the firm past the $2 billion mark in funds under admin.

“We feel it allows us to be compact enough to provide managers with a highly personalised level of service, investors with prudent and careful oversight, but large enough to deliver economies of scale and Investor friendly service and systems. Bigger is not always better.

“As we are not listed, we are not compelled by our valuation to pursue growth at all costs. We believe fiduciary oversight and client service are capacity constrained. Like a good investment manager who knows when it is time to close his or her fund, Fundhost prefers to grow slowly by working closely with a select number of quality boutique firms.”

Anne Monge recently relocated to Sydney after a five-year stint in California’s capital, Sacramento. Other Fundhost clients include Montgomery, Forager, EGP, Concentrated Leaders Fund (an LIC), Sandon, Harvest Lane, AtlasTrend and Datt and Ganes.

– G.B.

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