Authorised Corporate Director (ACD)

Lloyd Experts have been advising clients for a number of years now on the right and best selection for Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) services when starting up or running funds.

We thoroughly enjoy working for clients in this space as we tend to add a lot of value and insight for clients when working with, on the selection of an ACD as a new entrant to the fund industry, reassurance of the existing setup and a light touch verification or if clients are open to and looking to switch.

With currently (as of 2019) 15 external independent ACDs in the marketplace it can be difficult to understand and select the best ACD for any business. However Lloyd Experts simplify this process and give management at both board and senior management a level of comfort and detailed breakdown why a list of shortlisted ACDs are suitable for the business.

A review of the Investment Management Agreement (IMA) and Sponsorship agreement is incredibly important to understand and negociate. Lloyd Experts work with a dedicated lawyer who is well versed and excellent at explaining to clients the pitfalls of any agreement.


NEW TO ACD

The partnership of an ACD and a client should never be underestimated or seen as a letterbox for giving regulatory oversight as to the management of funds. The FCA are very clear in their requirements and expectations from the firm and ACD in this respect and as a result when signing up with an ACD, clients should ask themselves the question,

  • Is this ACD suitable to manage the fund in the best interest of the investor?

If an ACD makes a mistake or doesn't deliver what is required then it is the firm who is managing the funds reputation and if different the DFM who's reputation that will be impacted. An ACD should be seen as an extension of any business as the actions of an ACD can have the same consequences for a client who acts in the same way internally. For this reason the selection process and understanding of an ACD, services provided and setup should never be taken lightly.

Full consideration should always be given in every aspect of an ACD and as such we provide a detailed level of due diligence for clients as a service that provides clients with the comfort and reassurance, many members of management or a firm are looking for before signing on the dotted line.

Authorised Coporate Director ACD, Funds, Fund Setup, FCA, Financial Services Programme Change Management, Management Consultant

We cannot stress enough that choosing the right ACD should not be underestimated as you are sharing and trusting your client bank, reputation.

  • Every ACD will claim to be unique and be setup in a way which they believe is the best business model for managing funds.
  • Many ACDs will outsource a number of functions and it is important you understand the impact and risk to the business on these functions being outsourced.
  • Several considerations must be made when selecting an ACD to interpret the risk factor to the business and what the delivery of service will look like.
  • The right way, selection is different for every client as considerations and factors are different for every client.

On this basis we very rarely find that clients we work with choose the same ACD when we provide a review across the market place which is why our independence and quality is so important to us at Lloyd Expert Consultancy Ltd.

We are not tied to and would never recommend any ACD to a client consistently without carrying out a full assessment. One size does not fit all and we do not have a preferred ACD that clients should work with.

In fact we find that many good ACDs are now referring clients to us in order to provide that level of independence expert advice to ensure that clients are well informed and educated before making the ultimate decision that can mean 3/5 yrs. This is a huge risk to an ACD as it can result in the client who originally engaged with them selecting an alternative ACD which has happened a number of times but only highlights the importance and caliber of the work we do.

When we are engaged by a client for selecting or partnering up with an ACD we go through a 4 stage process that underpins what is important to the client and their objectives. As an example it is no use selecting an ACD with a low BPS charge but high minimum that is likely to trigger, if the funds are never going to grow much. Other considerations include,

  • Meeting the compliance requirements should be of a high quality as a starting point for any ACD.
  • The delivery of service, integration with what the client needs and associated suppliers sign upto is also paramount.
  • Service Level Agreements (SLA) between the suppliers and the client should never be overlooked.
  • The main aim of an ACD is to protect, maintain and ensure the integrity of the fund.
  • The number of systems and monitoring programs in place and demonstrated to give the right level of comfort.

Whatever stage you are upto whether you have funds in place or need help launching some funds and selecting an ACD please get in touch info@lloydexpert.co.uk

Authorised Coporate Director ACD, Funds, Fund Setup, FCA, Financial Services Programme Change Management, Management Consultant

LOOKING TO UNDERSTAND THE MARKET PLACE / COMPARISON OR POTENTIALLY CHANGE ACD

Once clients are working with an ACD we actively encourage all clients to review their ACD setup every couple of years due to the market place and the fact each ACD is so unique, developing all the time through technology and product development.

We never send out basic, standard RFPs or RFIs for clients, as the answers that come back are generic and don't help clients who are experienced with an ACD.

We do however investigate the current setup, assess what works well, what could be done better and any mistakes made along the way to provide value for the clients we work with.

On this basis we work with all ACDs to find the best solutions for clients and have developed a matrix based on the client criteria, requirements which clearly identifies the best 3 ACDs for selection based on weighting and a mathematical calculation.

Whenever we do an ACD review for clients it always consists of the ACD and ancillary services connected to them in order to ensure the client has the right setup for what they are looking to achieve which includes,

1. Fund Accounting
2. Transfer Agency
3. Custodian
4. Trading
5. Depository

All ACDs and ancillary services can work with each other so the choice and options are really down to what is right for the client. This isn't always easy for a client to understand or select which is where Lloyd Expert Consultancy come in. We are experts in this field and have a number of examples where we have saved the client in the long run from making a mistake for the future.

Finally we ask any client who works with an ACD the following questions,

  • Do you know how much Bps you are paying and how that compares to the market place?
  • Are you on a tiered fee basis with minimum fees?
  • What is the breakeven point?
  • What is the minimum fee for the depository and custodian?
  • What is your current OCF and how does that compare to the market place?
  • Do you know what services you are paying for and how that relates to your funds and clients?
  • What breaches have happened in the last 24 months reported or not?

If you have had to look up the answer to any of these questions it is worth getting in touch with us today.

WHAT NEXT?

If you are thinking of setting up a fund or want to know what is involved then look no further. We will explain what this means, how it works and what you need to think about when selecting an ACD.

We will help you to select the right ACD for your business, review your current setup, provide support if you decide to switch and setup funds from scratch.

We meet all clients initially free of charge to discuss the ACD process in more detail and the process for funds.

If any of the above is relevant for you then don't delay, please get in touch, info@lloydexpert.co.uk

Authorised Coporate Director ACD, Funds, Fund Setup, FCA, Financial Services Programme Change Management, Management Consultant

ARE YOU AN ACD?

We have worked with a number of ACDs in the market place to assist them in understanding,

  • The marketplace
  • Fee challenges
  • What is important to the client / focus for the client
  • Independent feedback
  • Are we operating efficiently?
  • Interview with potential or existing clients
  • Exit interviews for exiting clients or unsuccessful pitches
  • Current client themes and direction
  • Is the service pack for clients good enough, consistent with the marketplace?
  • How do I compare to the market place and other ACDs?

Our work with any ACD is done on the basis of improving the service and offering to clients. This in turn we hope will improve and increase standards to the benefit of all.

We do understand the FCA and what there expectations are with an ACD that can be useful to ensuring an ACD is providing the right level of oversight.

If you are an ACD and interested in working with us then please get in touch,
requests@lloydexpert.co.uk