GLOBAL - State Street Corporation has made a fresh move to build its presence in the global administration market and acquired alternative investments administrator Mourant International Finance Administration (MIFA) in a cash deal.
Jack Klinck, executive vice president and global head of State Street's alternative investment solutions team, said it had made the move to buy the specialist firm in part to give it a better entry point into the non-US markets as its target is to gain 50% of its fund administration business from outside the US.
At the same time, he explained, the alternative investment market is still one of the more complex sectors to administer as each of the three main areas - hedge funds, private equity and real estate - require very different support and management systems, so in turn require economies of scale to provide the appropriate platforms and tools to institutional investors.
"[Mourant] has intense and deep knowledge of the private equity and real estate industries. And real estate servicing, in particular, is a rather new topic we will hear more about in the future. Mourant is really the pioneer in that area," said Klinck.
"There is a unique skills requirement to deal with real estate complexities in cash flow, modeling, valuations, and in dealing with investors in terms of redemptions and subscriptions. The real estate market is more closely aligned with the legal market. So by partnering with [Mourant] we can establish more depth and skill, as well as build a whole new product range around real estate. And State Street is also acquiring a very diverse client list in Europe and Asia," he added.
Mourant is based in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, and has oprations in New York, Singapore and Dublin to manage the growth of alternative asset administration and servicing.
However, Klinck said the aim is to eventually widen the firm's domiciles, perhaps into Cyprus and Malta, to make the company "domicile neutral".
The new company will have combined assets under administration worth almost $600bn (€397bn) - $170bn of which come from Mourant - once the deal is completed within the first quarter of 2010.
Klinck added the skills required to generate enough revenue to invest in software for the "very separate and distinct" alternatives fund admin should be improved through the deal with Mourant, so State Street can plough some of its earning back into software and people.