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Fund administration is the name given to the set of activities that are carried out in support of the actual process of running a collective investment scheme, whether the scheme is a traditional mutual fund, a hedge fund, Pension fund, unit trust or something in between.
Managers of funds often choose to outsource some or all of these activities to external specialist companies such as a fund's custodian bank; these companies are often known as fund administrators.
These administrative activities may include the following administrative functions which may include "fund accounting" functions. Some of these items may be specific to fund operations in the US and some pertain only whether the fund is an SEC registered fund:
This list is not exhaustive and particularly where a fund manager has chosen to outsource some of these tasks to an external company some or all of the administrative activities of the fund may or may not be described as "fund administration". Specific activities that definitely do not fall under the name of fund administration are those directly associated with the marketing and development of a collective investment scheme:
In the view of some fund managers any task necessary for maintenance of the fund that does not fall into one of the two categories above could be classed as fund administration and could potentially be a candidate for outsourcing.
The 'credit crisis' of the early 2010s had a significant affect on providers of Fund Administration services. The downturn caused a reduction in business flows, particularly in investment fund business said Mark Huntley of the Heritage Group in his article entitled The Changing Face of the Fund Administration Industry in February 2011.