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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Huntington Allies With an Alts Back Office Giant

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Joe Rezabek and his team just sealed a strategic alliance with an alternative investments back office giant to help hedge fundsters get into '40 Act country.

Today Citco Fund Services unveiled the creation of Citco Mutual Fund Services and a partnership with Rezabek's Huntington Asset Services. Citco works with more than 2,000 funds with combined assets exceeding $700 billion and describes itself as "the global leader in fund administration services across all asset classes within the alternative investment industry."

Rezabek, president of Huntington Asset Services, described the alliance as "a powerful relationship for the marketplace" based on shared "core beliefs." Jay Peller, global head of sales and product development at Citco Fund Services, agreed that the two shops share "common values" like understanding "the importance of client service."

"We're really honored to be partnered with somebody like Citco," Jeff Young, senior vice president of relationship management for Huntington Asset Services, told MFWire. "We really found a kinship, kind of a common service mentality that has unfortunately been lost in today's manufacturing approach to fund service."

Young noted that 52 alternative mutual funds have already launched in 2013 to feed the growing investor and advisor appetite for liquid alternatives.

"Retail investors are increasingly interested in alternative asset classes as an additional source of yield, and we are starting to see alternative fund managers set up 40 Act structures to accommodate them," Peller stated.

Young confirmed that, for the partnership, Huntington will serve as underwriter and distributor for hedge fundsters new registered funds (including mutual funds), while Citco will handle relationship management.

"We do envision that a lot [of the hedge funds serviced by the new partnership] will be existing clients of Citco," Young said. "It makes a lot of sense for them to be at the core of that."

Meanwhile, Citco and Huntington will jointly provide administration services, with Citco having more fund accounting expertise on the hedge fund of funds side and Huntington focusing more on accounting for traditional, daily valuation, open-end mutual funds. Rezabek's team at Huntington services more than $45 billion in combined assets.

Company Press Release

Citco launches Citco Mutual Fund Services to service 40 Act funds.

New York, November 3, 2013 Citco Fund Services, the global leader in provision of administration services to the alternative investment industry, has launched Citco Mutual Fund Services to meet the growing demand for liquid alternatives structures, which provide access to alternative investment strategies via more traditional structures such as mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. The new company will extend Citco’s expertise in alternative assets to include 40 Act fund administration in conjunction with a strategic alliance with Huntington Asset Services, a subsidiary of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN).

“Retail investors are increasingly interested in alternative asset classes as an additional source of yield, and we are starting to see alternative fund managers set up 40 Act structures to accommodate them. Citco has always been singularly focused on adapting our services to meet our clients’ needs, whether it’s enhanced middle office, risk or the administration of 40 Act funds,” said Jay Peller, Global Head, Sales and Product Development, Citco Fund Services. Alternative fund managers face a variety of unfamiliar requirements to operate a liquid alternatives structure, including new portfolio restrictions, additional regulatory oversight, further fund governance and regular investor communications. Responding to this need, Citco has taken their alternative asset pedigree and allied with HASI for 40 Act operational services to provide a holistic fund offering to alternative managers and their investors.

“Huntington and Citco share core beliefs about the culture we create for our colleagues and the approach we take with our customers,” said Joe Rezabek, President, Huntington Asset Services. “This common bond, along with our complementary technical expertise creates a powerful relationship for the marketplace.”

“It’s all about common values – Citco is a relationship firm, first and foremost” said Jay Peller. “When we evaluated 40 Act providers, we kept running into firms who focused on the mechanics of fund administration, whereas with Huntington, we found an experienced management team that really understood the importance of client service.”

About Citco

Citco Fund Services is the global leader in fund administration services across all asset classes within the alternative investment industry. Citco offers fund accounting and net asset value calculations, investor relations services, anti-money laundering compliance, corporate and legal services, transparency and risk reporting, including the administrator disclosure letter, Forms PF. PQR, SLT and Open Protocol reporting, preparation of financial reports and tax services and FATCA and AIFMD compliance services. CitcoOnline offers investment managers and investors an extensive suite of online reports to provide them with the tools required to operate efficiently and effectively. Citco Fund Services currently administers more than 2,000 funds with net assets exceeding $700 billion and offers full service fund administration from 20 strategic centres globally.

About Huntington Asset Services

Huntington Asset Services, Inc. has been providing mutual fund service solutions for more than 40 years. Huntington’s fully integrated services include fund administration, accounting, transfer agency, compliance, distribution and custody for clients with combined assets of more than $45 billion. Huntington’s comprehensive solutions support both stand-alone and series trust structures.

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