Augentius strengthens presence in Hong Kong
15 October 2014
Category: News, Asia, Global, Hong Kong, United Kingdom
By Derek Au
Augentius, a London-based independent private equity and real estate administrator, has expanded its offices in Hong Kong.
“We have seen considerable growth across our client base in Asia,” says Alex Traub, managing director, Asia, “and as a result of demand have expanded our operations in Hong Kong. We have already had to move into larger offices in Singapore and are now doing the same in Hong Kong.”
Augentius expects its Hong Kong office to at least double in size over a short period of time as it sees growing demand for specialised fund administration services in Hong Kong and mainland China. Mr. Traub tells Asia Asset Management he expects the number of staff in the Hong Kong office to increase from around ten currently to between 20 and 30, and for the firm to move to an even larger place.
Mr. Traub says the office has been tasked with providing clients in Hong Kong and the Mainland with fund administration services, reporting and depositary services, among others. He singled out the growth of private equity funds in China as one motivation for expanding the Hong Kong office at this stage.
“There has been a pick-up in the launch of US-dollar funds coming out of mainland China. Most of the administration work for these funds is done in Hong Kong. The continuing growth of the Chinese economy has led to a pick-up in the launch of private equity funds,” he notes.
Another reason that has prompted the expansion of the firm’s Hong Kong set is the higher standard of fund administration services sought by Asian fund houses.
“Asia is a fast growing region for Augentius” says Ian Kelly, chief executive officer. “Our growth in the region has been rapid and as a consequence we need to expand our operations to support our clients. As the private equity and real estate sectors in the region have become more attractive to international investors, so firms are seeking to move from generalist administrators across to specialist such as Augentius, with the detailed knowledge of the requirements of international investors.”
David Bailey, group head of marketing and communications, points out that the firm is also dedicated to helping fund managers cope with regulatory issues that have become increasingly demanding globally. “The chief financial officer of a fund house is seeing all the additional regulations being piled on top of him. We have absolutely taken the opportunity to help our clients out. We deal with a lot of additional regulatory work for them,” he says.