12.16.2011
By Terry Flanagan

Back Office Providers Look Abroad

United States-based asset servicers target Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Providers of back-office services are making a concerted push to extend their U.S. operations abroad.

In the United States, hedge funds, registered investment advisors, and other buy side entities have access to a rich supply of accounting and administrative services, but that’s not the case in other parts of the globe.

“In the U.S., in the RIA space, serves are commoditized because information flows freely,” Stephen Van de Wetering, CEO of Empaxis, told Markets Media. “In the U.S., it’s one big market, whereas in Europe each country is different.”

Empaxis, with over $30 billion in assets under administration, provides customized back-office services for buy side clients including hedge funds, RIA,s family offices, and asset management firms.

A large portion of RIAs in the United States employ standardized software such as Advent Custodial Data (ACD), which can consolidate account level information from more than 800 custodians and funds for reconciliation and posting into one of Advent Software’s portfolio management and reporting modules.

“In the U.S., all of our clients have standardized on ACD, which enables information to flow freely between clients and custodians,” said Van de Wetering.

Empaxis has been providing outsourcing services for users of Advent Software products, such as Advent Portfolio Exchange (APX), Axys, and Geneva, and is extending those services with recent certification as an Advent Consulting Partner in the Middle East and Asia.

Under the agreement, Empaxis will provide Advent-certified services across the Middle East and Asia, and middle and back office processing and reconciliation services to various clients across the entire EMEA region.

“Advent needed consulting support in EMEA, and has hired us to provide consulting and streamlined workflow for clients in that region,” said Van de Wetering. “We will be putting to work our experience in developing solutions for our clients.”

Empaxis helps buy side firms running Axys and APX applications maintain and verify the accuracy of the portfolio accounting and trade reconciliation reporting. Empaxis verifies and reconciles more than 10,000 data points each month across its client base, which accounts for approximately $30 billion in assets under administration management across more than 200 custodians, the company said.

An “assurance overlay system” enables reporting capabilities that help Empaxis identify comparisons between trade values on transfer in kind versus value calculated by quantity price, as well as locate trends in price source comparison from one day to another. The system also detects accrued interest on fixed income securities with an issue date and performs checks on all back dated transactions.

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