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Over the last 10 years there has been some interesting developments from artificial intelligence, Netflix, social media, Donald Trump as President, Brexit and last but not least the Irish Funds Industry. This sector has evolved into a diverse and exciting market that includes Fund Admin, Consulting, Fintech and Investment Management. An area heavily aligned with Investment Management is the “Super ManCo”.

What is a Super Manco?

A Super ManCo is a firm that acts as a Management company for Fund Managers and their funds. The Super ManCo is both a UCITS Management Company and AIFM which focuses on Alternative Investments. It essentially takes on all the key tasks and requirements for the funds outside of stock selection and general investment decision making. This can include operational oversight, Regulatory Compliance, Risk Management, MLRO, Distribution Support and the provision of designated persons and independent directors. It is worth noting that some of the Investment firms have MiFID permissions which also enable them to perform Portfolio Management and sales from Dublin.

Where did it come from?

It originally arose back in the early 2000’s with firms setting up a Governance offering, understanding that there was a real requirement for a firm to provide a range of services for Fund Managers outside of pure fund administration, custody, audit and legal. With the crash of 2009, these needs were amplified 10-fold as regulation and proper governance were the order of the day. In recent times, Asset Managers have been setting up Super ManCos in Dublin to ensure they can distribute their funds throughout Europe, Post-Brexit.

Third party vs Investment Manager?

Some Fund Managers want to set up their own super ManCo for their own suite of funds and given their size, scale and AUM it makes perfect sense. On the other hand, there are other firms that do not want to go through a process of which can be seen as cumbersome and would prefer to outsource this to an expert (Third Party ManCo), safe in the knowledge that they can concentrate on what they do best i.e. managing money and making investment decisions whilst focusing on performance, distribution and client services.

What are the Roles within a ManCo?

A lot of this has been driven by the Central Bank and their CP86 guidelines which offer guidance to “ManCo’s” on everything from managerial functions, delegate oversight, organisational effectiveness, operational issues and board composition. The managerial functions include:

  • Capital & Financial Management
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Operational Risk Management
  • Fund Risk Management
  • Distribution
  • Investment Management

These provide the basis for a ManCo’s team structure and hiring plans. Each function will have a Designated Person (DP) who performs the day to day, reports to the board, oversees the relevant service providers and liaises with the CBI. There can then be Associates who report into each functions DP.

Are there good Career Opportunities?

Excellent. There is huge opportunity for talented funds professionals (an old article of mine, but ever more relevant today!) from Fund Administration, Depositary, Middle office, Investment Management or Consulting to develop exciting, rewarding careers within this space.

Whilst these positions technically operate in an oversight capacity, individuals gain great exposure and there is significant interaction with front office (portfolio management and sales) as well as fund boards and service providers. There is excellent career progression potential and some firms offer global mobility. Others are also very open to flexible working arrangements. Compensation packages are generally, very attractive.

What Skills and Experience are Clients looking for?

  • Practical experience across one of the core areas is ideally whether that’s Compliance, Risk, Investment Management, Finance & Accounting or Distribution
  • Operational oversight experience as well as client on-boarding or funds implementation (Launches, mergers, closures etc) is also highly sought after
  • Professional Qualification’s such as, CFA’s, ACOI, ACA’s, ACCA’s, CAIA or FRM
  • Understanding of UCITS and AIFMD is as well as a strong understanding of the funds and investment landscape
  • Excellent Communication, presentation skills and stakeholder management experience.

How can Azon Recruitment Group assist?

This market is buoyant and there are fantastic opportunities for talented and ambitious candidates. Azon Recruitment Group are working with a number of Super ManCos, both existing and new entrants to the Irish market, several of whom are on an exclusive basis.

If you want to make that next exciting career move or are just curious and want to get an overview of the market, our Funds & Asset Management team would be delighted to have a chat with you. We can advise you on the range of firms and career opportunities that exist. For further info give me a call on +353 1 5549 249 or email on nmcnaughton@azon.ie. 

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