Kevin Fu, Co-Founder and CEO of Repool, discusses how how Repool is differentiated from other fund administrators. He shares common misconceptions about fund administration and key considerations for choosing your provider.
In this episode, Kevin and I talked about:
- How the founders’ backgrounds in VC/PE fund technology helped shape Repool’s modernized offering.
- How Repool is different from other fund administrators.
- Typical all-in fund admin cost — starts at $12,000 to $15,000/yr.
- Common misconceptions new managers typically have about fund admin.
- Characteristics of a great ‘fit’ for Repool.
- The most important considerations to think about when choosing service providers.
0:56 | “One thing we realized when we started Repool was a lack of innovation on the hedge fund (tech) side…basically we’ve just modernized a lot of the tooling and experience. I think hedge fund services is actually antiquated in a way that is very rare.”
8:13 | “One thing Repool does that’s unique is we don’t just do admin, we also do fund formation, fund banking and compliance. We have a uniquely horizontal or vertical view on how to operate a fund”
21:35 | (on fund admin misconceptions)“I think managers make assumptions about workflow and operationally, or they don’t realize their own terms of the details of the documents that lawyers put together, but they never read line by line. That’s a lot of the small stuff.”
28:09 | (on how to evaluate service providers) “There are a bajillion fund admins, there are a bajillion compliance firms, there are bajillion law firms, all staffed with smart people. They can do the thing. What’s really important is what else can you do for me beyond the core thing, and then two, do I like interacting with you? .”
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Jennifer Bruno 00:11
Welcome to Hedge Interview. This episode is part of the Service Provider Spotlight, a new series we launched this year where we feature insights from important service provider organizations that support fund managers. My guest today is Kevin Fu. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Repool, a fund administrator providing modern hedge fund solutions. Kevin has 10 years of venture-backed experience at successful startups, both as an operator and as an executive. Welcome, Kevin.
Kevin Fu 00:44
Hey, Jennifer, thanks for having me.
Jennifer Bruno 00:47
So first, tell me about your inspiration for founding Repool and how your experience lends itself to helping new asset managers?
Kevin Fu 00:56
Yeah, absolutely. It’s a great question. Since, in candor, one thing most people immediately identify as, hey, this is unusual. You don’t actually come from hedge funds or hedge fund services, but you have this hedge fund services company. And I think that that’s more common in tech generally, but it doesn’t seem to be very common in this particular space. Most hedge fund service providers are spun out of existing hedge fund service providers. Really, the inspiration came from exposure to a parallel asset class, which is to say that when you’re a venture backed founder and operator, and employee and or executive, you’ll start at some point in your career interfacing a lot with essentially venture fund related tooling. So platforms like Carta, in AngelList, or Juniper square, etc. And more or less, the thing that we identified early is there’s been a lot of innovation that makes managing other types of private funds other than hedge funds a lot easier. And obviously, we viewed it and I viewed it a little bit through the lens of a more tangential person affected. But one thing we really realized when we started Repool was that there’s been a lack of that similar innovation on the hedge fund side where it’s not that you’re doing things totally differently. It’s basically you know, productively that you’ve just modernized a lot of the tooling and experience. I think hedge fund services is really actually antiquated in a way that is very rare. Almost all aspects of financial services have been modernized to some extent, even if people like to gripe about them. But hedge fund services uniquely, this very, very truly services oriented business where you’re largely interacting with offshore teams, you know, the software that you get, if any, is extremely antiquated service providers are extremely fractured, that’s not the case actually already in things like venture. And so we saw that story and said, wait, you could actually provide a much better, modern experience to hedge fund managers. And I think our background is technologists in having solved similar problems, my co-founder, especially coming from one of the most successful fintechs of all time, Brex, building out a general ledger there, amongst other things, and building out essentially modern banking flows and modern compliance flows, we really thought, hey, this doesn’t look necessarily super obvious, but it actually translates quite well. Because we’re not here to help fund managers trade or express our view on the markets or try and convince them that we’re experts. We’re here to build better infrastructure, better plumbing, that helps them save time, on flows that they don’t want to spend time on and have nothing to do with their actual trading expertise. And so we saw that space, and we thought it was kind of an exciting opportunity. And we think working with hedge funds is a really interesting opportunity.
Jennifer Bruno 03:38
Great. And so just to back up for a minute, I’ve worked with some of my client fund managers who are ’emerging’ emerging managers, and they sometimes don’t fully understand what a fund administrator does. So just as a way of backing up and explaining that component in the whole realm of their offering, what do you provide as a fund administrator?
Kevin Fu 04:08
Yeah, so there’s the must have side, I would say, for an emerging manager, and then there’s the nice to have. And so on the must have side, the role of the fun admin is generally I would bucket it into two primary roles. It’s to handle all the things that have to do with investors. So that could be processing their subscriptions that could be processing their wires. It could also be doing things like KYC, know, your customer and AML, anti-money laundering, which are required by law, and pretty tough for a small merchant manager to figure out on their own. But also it’s the accounting and the actual kind of maintenance of the ledger telling you how much does this person Oh, you what’s the fund’s actual performance? And that serves two roles. One is, frankly, obviously no single person listening hopefully, is deliberately a bad actor. But empirically, too many funds historically have done bad things eventually whether they set out to or felt pressure to who cares. And it’s a very small incidence rate. But the fact of the matter is that there has been an increase in the uses of admins, because we are kind of while not being truly an auditor, like a neutral third party that says, oh, yeah, you know, this is the fund’s actual performance. And that’s more and more complicated, the more esoteric, the asset classes and the size of the font gets, right. And so you can imagine, in particular, how that’s particularly useful if the fund is trading things that are not easily priceable. But even so, being able to zero out the fund gets very complicated when you have to think about things like cash accruals, dividends, you know, varying high watermarks, varying performance fees, different capital accounts for investors. It’s just basically, there’s a huge accounting load, that doesn’t look as obvious. And we handle all of that. And then again, back to the first point, it’s all of the interactions with investors, in fact, is the last point. Because the industry in the SEC has moved so much towards managers not doing things in house for transparency and security reasons for investors, there are many fund banks. So as an example, if you’re not familiar, a very common fund bank might be a bank like Wintrust. They literally won’t let a fund manager move money in the bank account, if there is no admin. So if you try and open a Wintrust bank account as a fund manager, without an admin or you lose your admin, you literally can’t touch your money. And that just goes to show kind of the role and the responsibility of the admin and its importance in the industry.
Jennifer Bruno 06:29
And that’s great. It provides credibility for the manager, as well, when investors understand all of those relationships and how they, you know, lend credibility to the operation as a whole. So that’s really, really important. Does Repool focus on any specific asset class or location, jurisdiction?
Kevin Fu 06:52
Yeah, so we are generally focused on US connected fund managers. So by that, I mean, we don’t do solely offshore funds. We would do, you know, mini masters or master feeders that have a US component. And we’re generally focused on I would say, what I might call on exchange assets, with some amounts at max of venture or secondary related activities. So what I mean by that is, you know, the classic equities and securities CFTC assets, like, you know, derivatives, futures, forex swaps, and then things like fund to funds or other private funds or venture investments. We don’t touch real estate, or private equity, commodities, or kind of more esoteric alternative assets. Our focus as a more technology-oriented company, as kind of a short maybe leap ahead, is to find operational leverage through technology, and then redeploy that into software development to provide other value to managers in certain asset classes that are entirely manual in nature, don’t really match up well to that thesis. So that’s why we have a little bit more of a narrow focus.
Jennifer Bruno 08:05
Okay, and what would you say distinguishes Repool from other fund administrators.
Kevin Fu 08:13
So there’s two sides. One is our actual support and the experience of working with us. And then the other is the technology. And they both stem from what I just alluded to, which is we have structured our company slightly differently than the median fund admin. I’ll give you an example of an emerging fund admin. I won’t do by name, because I don’t want to disparage and I think they’re very good at the admin. But most of the emerging fund admin administrators, your whole team is offshore. So the only time you’ll work with someone on shore is when they’re selling you and your client services manager, your support is generally in India or the Philippines. And that’s fine. It’s not like they do a bad job. But it has really important implications for your experience. And often you’re a small fish in a big pond. You get assigned, it’s like when you just call some large company for support, like I don’t know, you need to return clothes or you need baking sport. Just get some random person in some offshore location who doesn’t know anything about you, who has never interfaced with you before, that might be slow to respond. That might be fine. But it might not be and I think it’s a question of what the manager is looking for our whole support and services in general front office team is onshore only, and we have dedicated account teams, no matter how small you are. And so I think people really appreciate that. The other thing is, I think, because one thing Repool does that is unique is we don’t just do admin, we also do fund formation, fund banking and compliance. We have a uniquely horizontal or vertical view on how to operate a fund. And so we’re obviously not legal counsel, but we can go much further into a much higher degree of expertise around being consultative on situations that you would ordinarily never be able to get answers from from your front admin. And that is also very helpful again to emerging managers who are resource limited, price conscious and have, you know, generally, no staff. So they’re kind of doing it all and figuring it out of themselves. The other side is just the technology. Again, the admin itself, the actual accounting and crunching of numbers, you know, it’s the same as everyone else. There’s kind of a ceiling to that. It’s (either) they’re right, or they’re wrong for the most part. And we have invested a disproportionate amount into more modern technological services. And so a simple example I give is, onboarding investors, the repol is dramatically simpler than any other fund administrator, which is I think an area people don’t contemplate is, hey, it turns out that chasing people and tracking where they are, and asking them to fill out paperwork that they don’t want to fill out is particularly painful process. We kind of handle that experience end to end, and it’s fully digitized. And we don’t just mean like, we took a DocuSign template and embedded it on a website. It is like a totally abstracted experience where at no point, you even have to look at the intimidating 50 Page subscription booklet that’s typical of a fund, but we kind of walk you through almost like a TurboTax digitized questionnaire. We reduce the error rate, we increase the completion rate, we increase the velocity by a staggering amount, and essentially make it much more likely that investors invest at all, invest quickly, invest without asking questions. And all you have to do is kind of see when that process is over. And again, that’s a flow that exists for PE and venture funds that doesn’t really exist for hedge funds historically. So that’s kind of one area we’re excited about. But as a last note, in general, there’s a lot of soft small opportunities that we’re excited about on the software side. We have embedded banking, so it’s not a separate experience. You know, a lot of the stuff we give around NAV deliverables, investor portal, it’s all in a more modern unified experience. And that’s just valuable to certain types of investors in certain types of LPs.
Jennifer Bruno 11:47
Great. And what is the typical, I’m gonna say typical, not pegging you to give a number, but what would you say that, for new managers, when they’re contemplating fund administrators, what are the costs involved? On average?
Kevin Fu 12:02
Yeah, so look, I think there’s administrators at every cost band out there, whether you’re super cost conscious or not. And so I would say, for an emerging manager, your typical all-in administrative related costs will probably start at around $12,000 to $15,000 a year. A lot of admins, what they do is they have a lower per month price, but then they have like a financial statements cost, an onboarding cost and a subscription document processing cost, and the net, for most fund admins, I would say, starts around $12K to $15K. And if you go to kind of a very upmarket provider for large funds, like an SS&C, or CITCO, the starting price is much higher. But that’s frankly, quite uncommon for an emerging manager. So yeah, I would say kind of starting around $12K to $15K. And then usually the model is, after a certain size of fund, you’ll pay like a very nominal rake of your, on a bps basis. So maybe after $10 million, you’re paying seven and a half bps per dollar after. So it’s not going to scale linearly, but you do kind of pay a little bit more, the larger your fund is, is very typical.
Jennifer Bruno 13:06
And that makes sense. Because you’re able to, obviously, with your management fees, hopefully afford those scaling costs that go with your growing business. So as far as how your team and corporate culture, how does a fund plug in and work with Repool? Are they assigned, like an account manager? Or what do they what can they expect when they plug into the Repool?
Kevin Fu 13:34
Yeah, so well, it depends on the product. We do fund launch. So in that world, we actually are the ones forming the fund, provisioning offering documents. That’s a much more hands on engagement, where we collaborate with you to structure your fund from the very first day. And that typically takes about four to six weeks. And then after that, you’ve kind of have the fund, it exists, you. have the offering documents, you’re filed with regulators, etc. And then you start raising capital. And then route two is standalone fund admin. And in that world, you’re basically coming to us at the same point I just described, but you’ve assembled those pieces yourself through, you know, a law firm and you know, gotten there, through whatever means that you’ve decided to take on. In either case, yes, you do get a dedicated account manager at Repool. And in general, our support model is such that I’m still heavily involved in support. I’m the non technical half Repool, and I like to maintain a relationship with all our clients. We have a ratio of staff to clients of about five to one, so five funds to every US onshore employee, which I think is dramatically better than other fund services providers. And it just basically actually means it’s pretty easy for us to maintain a close relationship with every fund manager. So basically, every single client as interface with me, knows me by name, I say hi to people on client check ins here and there. And then the dedicated accounts team is generally going to respond to any inquiry of any kind, you know, same business day.
Jennifer Bruno 14:59
Great. And what are some common misconceptions that fund managers have about fund administration?
Kevin Fu 15:11
Yeah, I think there’s three that come to mind. The first is being clear on what a fund admin is and isn’t responsible for. I think there’s a trope that people don’t like their fund admins. And in candor, that was actually an area that we were really excited about initially, that we realized, is not as much of a direct opportunity. A lot of times, it’s not actually, at least in my view, because the admins doing something wrong, it’s because expectations weren’t set properly. So I guess if you put that on the admin, and so it goes. And so I think that’s just the source of a lot of pain, so to just be really clear on what an admin does and doesn’t do. And a common example might be something like legal advice. For some reason, a lot of people seem to think that they can go to their admin and ask them to change their documents, or ask people questions and then get frustrated when the answer is no. But you just need to be very clear, at the end of the day that the admin is a service provider that helps you do things that you owe your investors. At the end of the day, it’s your business. You know, we can fire you, you can fire us. And ultimately, if we make a mistake, and you give that to investors, that’s kind of through you. So it’s important to have Avenue trust, because it’s ultimately your responsibility. And we’re the ones helping you do it. And, you know, you really have to remember, at the end of the day, that the hedge fund is a business. It’s a very complicated business, and your service provider stack is there to help you. And that you are going to have to have multiple service providers. And sometimes there’s things that they can’t help for you. I think the other two items for the admin in terms of common misconceptions. One is I think that the who your admin is, matters to a great deal, I suppose. And this is only for some managers, but from time to time, we run into managers where, again, of course, you should have an admin you trust, and you’d like, but they’ll get very obsessed with, Hey, I’m gonna be, you know, single digit million or low eight, figure fund, and I have to have the most namebrand service providers in the business, you know, I’ve got to work with KPMG for my auditor, and I gotta have SS&C for my admin. And, look, I just think it’s the wrong focus. I think what your LPs care about is that you have a credible enough services team, but it’s mostly about whether you’re delivering on, you know, the investment objective of the fund. And so I think it’s because fund managers are really aware that it’s a very competitive market, they’re often very eager to differentiate, and they want to have everything perfect, and then they just start to seek things that I think don’t really matter. It’d be kind of like, just think of any business. Like, if you’re a local retail brick and mortar shop, gets its books and records done by KPMG, instead of a local CPA. Does that mean that anyone else wants to buy more food or clothing? No, right? It’s not that it doesn’t matter, but look, I think that people should really focus on who do you have a good working relationship, when you talk to them? Do they communicate well? Are they responsive? And then what other things do they do for you, that’s probably a more important lens than having the biggest names. And I think it’s just a distraction for launch. And then worse, it ruins your cost structure at a time where you’re very cost sensitive as an emerging manager.
Jennifer Bruno 18:14
As far as managing expectations around who does what do you provide a service level agreement? Is there sort of an understanding of who does what on a daily, monthly, quarterly annual basis so that those expectations are set appropriately?
Kevin Fu 18:33
Yeah, of course, I think it’s just one of those things where, you know, as with any contract, are you really reading the terms and conditions before you sign up? Observationally managers often don’t. And so we try to give people pre signing on meetings where we just literally run through, like, hey, here are common areas that are not going to happen, here are things we don’t do, here are common situations that people mess up that if you have the wrong conception on, you will be unhappy. You know, a really common one that people always say they won’t do. And then sometimes what will happen is people often asked to change the schedule at which certain gains or losses or expenses are recognized. And you know, look, it’s just one of the things like something goes against you, your managing strong capital, you want to defer something or you want to like, try and cover some losses? The answer most of the time is no, we’re, of course not going to do that. And I think sometimes people think, well, you’re my service provider, I just want you to do what you want. But admins, first of all, have a high ethical standards, because we literally have regulatory obligations, but it’s just not something that is fair or right to ask. And so you know, that’s like an example, right? We just run through a lot of situations before we sign up or we go, Hey, If this happens, and we’re hoping it won’t, and we’re not seeing it, well, this is what we’re going to tell you when you make this ask. And if you have any other expectation, you’re going to be very unhappy. So let’s just like not arrive in that situation, and they’re not always about like, you know, that example is maybe a bit harsh. But oftentimes, it’s just small things like, hey, be really clear, you’ve got to have your own tax provider, we’re not doing taxes, if you didn’t buy from us don’t show up on March 15, and go where aer my taxes? I’m gonna point back at this conversation and say, Hey, you’re supposed to do that. Now you’re in trouble, not us. Right? And so it’s a lot of those things that we want to run through. But yeah, look, it is all in there in terms of the terms and conditions. And then we have a description of services. And I suspect most admins do, I just think, when’s the last time you read a full contract end to end when you signed it? You know, I would encourage I guess, people listening to just make sure whatever admin they’re talking to, that they’re really crystal clear. Before they sign on, hey, I think you do these things. Let’s just, here’s a list. Tell me if these are all true.
Jennifer Bruno 20:46
That’s so important. I’m glad we’re talking about this. Because I’ve heard from fund managers that had a rude awakening at a at a certain point with regards to service providers where they didn’t read the agreement. And they got themselves into a jam, because they didn’t really understand their role versus, you know, the service providers role and there was friction, and then there was, but it was really kind of at the end of the day, they didn’t, they didn’t read the fine print and understand fully what the relationship was really all about. So that’s a very important point about whether it’s fund administration, or any service provider, it’s so important to know what you know what the relationship is, what all of the, what the deliverables are on both sides, and read the fine print.
Kevin Fu 21:35
That’s yeah, I actually, I’ll give a give a couple like more trivial and small examples that people don’t think of. But as an example, net asset value doesn’t occur instantaneously after the month closes. Like we need to go in one one misconception, actually, I remember what it was is. We don’t just grab the values from your brokerage and then divide it by some ownership, that’d be really easy. That’d be great. I wish that’s all that happens. And so my point there is, you know, simple oversights, NAV is on a delayed basis, it only happens monthly, and at the end of the month, it typically comes on a t-plus, you know, three to seven day basis. And so a comment will be, “Hey, where’s my net asset value? It’s March 1.” And it’s like, hey, you know, that’s just not how this industry works. And, you know, you have the wrong expectation. We actually reconstruct and do the accounting from the GAAP-like or GIPS compliant perspective, if that’s the type of admin you have on every single trade from the ground up, totally unrelated to what the broker says. So it’s a lot of accounting work. And then we’re of course, factoring in like cash and other things like investor timing, the contractual kind of terms of when NAV ticks for a fund, when performance and fees, expenses, etc, recognize. And sometimes the managers have told their investors, these things like, “Oh, you’re gonna get your net asset value March 1,” and it doesn’t come March 1, and then investors are mad, and then they freak out. And so it’s a lot of pressure through the manager and making sure you don’t make those commitments, but other small ones, right? Like, how does NAV start? Some people have a really good day, and they took in capital, or they have a really good week, and they took in capital, but guess what their fund documents say that the net asset value doesn’t start until the first of the next month. And no, we can’t just decide to allocate your really good week early. Because your own fund documents literally say that your net asset value starts on the first of the month, regardless of when you accept the subscription, right. So like, it’s just the small stuff like that, that, you know, causes friction between where the manager might feel like the fund admin is stonewalling them, but look, our job, we want our funds to succeed, we want our funds to thrive. I mean, frankly, the larger you are, the more you pay us. And also, if you fail, then you’re no longer a client. But we’re also again, just here to kind of do what we’re supposed to do. And it’s not like a choose your own adventure whenever you work with an admin. And so yeah, a lot of those small things that an investor that I think managers make assumptions about workflow and operationally, or they don’t realize their own terms of the details of the documents that lawyers put together, but they never read line by line. That’s a lot of the small stuff.
Jennifer Bruno 23:58
Right. And so you were mentioning before about how there’s a misconception about, you know, going with a big brand name. Given that you scale with the size of a fund, there’s really, there would never be an instance where somebody needs to go to a different fund administrator, because they’ve gotten to a certain size. Like that’s, that doesn’t necessarily happen?
Kevin Fu 24:26
Actually, to be fair, I do think some LPs are going to be really annoying about what admin you use. And you know, maybe annoying is a harsh word, but they will be particular about it. And those are legitimate cases where you might like your relationship, but you’re gonna get external pressure, like, “Hey, I’ll invest $20 million, but you got to be on SS&C.” And that’s tough. I mean, look, I am sympathetic because that’s not really in my or your control. I think in the times we’ve run into those situations, we just say, look, let’s talk to the investor once, if they’re willing to and hear out their concerns, but sometimes it’s insurmountable. Sometimes someone wants to cut a big check. They have all the leverage, and they just want something done a certain way and whether their reasons are legitimate or not like that’s just it, if you want that deal, those are the terms. And so I do think that happens when you get larger from time to time. But of course, to your point, if assuming that’s not happening, yeah, the admin can scale, I think what causes certain admins to be more popular with larger funds often has to do with that accrued reputation. Similar to why companies of a certain size only go to the Big Four auditors and then companies smaller go to smaller ones. The stakes kind of change, contingent on your success, your cost sensitivity, and also your fiduciary stakeholders. The other is asset class complexity, right? So to your point, you know, Repool can scale with the types of strategies we described on exchange securities and other derivatives and limited private fund and venture investments. But the big admins can kind of scale to have essentially an infinite amount of asset complexity. So maybe the other reason would be if, as you grow your fund, and it’s allowable within your investment objective, you start to add depth, additional net new assets, you might have to go to a new admin. But I think the sum occurrence of those two cases I just articulated, is relatively small. And one thing I always tell people is like, at the end of the day, I have of course, my own reasons to talk my own book. And there are, of course, legitimate reasons to make different decisions. But don’t solve for problems you don’t actually understand, if you have, is probably like one way of answering your earlier question of what’s something that people do or are mistaken about? Like, I think a lot of people are like, “Yeah, I don’t have this problem yet, but I absolutely need to have providers that are going to solve this problem.” And my answer is always look like, that’s just spending more and complicating your situation. You can cross a bridge when you get there, right. So a common form of this is people say, I don’t have any offshore investors. But like, I want to get my offshore entity moving now. So that I’m, like, ready. And I just kind of think that’s throwing like $50,000 to $75,000 in a hole for no reason. And you can always do it later. And it’s no different if you do it right away or down the line. And there’s a lot of configurations like that, that I think people should avoid falling into again, because the number one thing you need to do right now is deliver a good track record, good returns, fundraise and impress your existing LPs, not go tinkering with your corporate structure to solve problems you don’t have.
Jennifer Bruno 26:51
That’s a great point. That’s a really great point. I you know, new managers often, definitely can throw money at things they don’t need to throw money at in the beginning, it’s so important to be conservative and run your business efficiently. So that’s a great point. My last question is, choosing a fund administrator, like any service provider, is a marriage of sorts. It’s meant to be a long-term relationship, and changing is hard, if it ever needs to happen. It’s not an easy thing. But to recap, what’s a great fit between Repool and you know, your perfect client? What’s your perfect client? What’s a great fit?
Kevin Fu 28:09
Yeah, look, I think it’s the expectations thing, again, were, frankly, in this space, and I think people listening won’t be shocked, like, some money managers are very demanding. And if you are really going to be an unreasonable client, one nice thing for all fund admins, is that, you know, we don’t have to work for you. So I would say there’s like some reasonableness to the interaction. Again, I think some people view fund admins as like a service that should do every whim they have. And so I think if you’re very disrespectful, for starters, that’s just not going to be a fit. But I think the ideal client for us is someone who has basically done the legwork and has their priorities straight. Of course, we have many clients that I would say don’t necessarily fall into that bucket. But in general, one thing we used to do that we no longer do is when we have clients who are very rude or demanding, or ignore certain laws or boundaries, which is frankly, surprisingly common in this space. Rarely is it the case that that behavior changes or gets better. It’s kind of like, believe people when they show you who you are, and I think that’s the same in the other direction. If you interface with a fund services provider. At the end of the day, for the most part, my view on fund services providers is they’re all good at what they say their core service is, right? Most admins are good at the admin, and most things in the news are for huge funds or esoteric asset classes or throw away bad actors that probably don’t represent the broader organization. And that happens in every industry and in every sector, just like there are bad fund managers. But look, there are a bajillion fund admins, there are a bajillion compliance firms that are bajillion law firms all staffed with smart people, they can do the thing. What’s really important is what else can you do for me beyond the core thing, and then two, do I like interacting with you? A final example I’d give is, you know, when we chose our own corporate counsel, look, there’s 100 AM law firms that are in that vault 100 prestige ranking. And they’re all staffed with graduates from T 14 law schools, they’re all good at the law. And so how do companies choose their lawyers? It’s a lot about the working relationship. Do you communicate well? Are you responsive? Do you tell me things in a way I get? And when you interpret my questions and problems, do you interpret them in the business context and thinking that I also have? And I think it’s same for your admin, your compliance, your fund services team is, make sure you have an opportunity to work with the people that will be working with you, and then evaluate, hey, when I talk to this person, are they on my side? Are they credible? Do they get to the point? Do they communicate in a style I like? We have lost deals, and we have won deals primarily on the basis of, “I worked with XYZ firm, and I didn’t like talking to them.” Or they say, “Hey, I just had a better relationship with the guy at this other firm.” So I’m not choosing Repool. And so I think that’s a totally legitimate and actually very important way to structure your decision making criteria for evaluating a partner.
Jennifer Bruno 31:05
I think so too, I couldn’t have said it better myself, it’s so important to like who you work with, in every capacity. You know, all the way down the line. Whether your a fund manager or whatever your business is, you have to like the people that you work with, and have a good compatible working relationship and sort of a good chemistry.
Kevin Fu 31:26
Or at least respect them, I think, because sometimes they’re there, and you are going to make hard asks of each other, or not deliver the best news and you need to have, you know, the belief that that person is acting in good faith when they tell you those things, or that they’re comfortable making sure that they bring those things up, right.
Jennifer Bruno 31:44
Yes, absolutely. So this is so great. Thank you so much for this interview and your time today. These insights are really helpful, and I’m positive that new managers watching this are gonna get a better understanding of fund administration as a whole and further, you know, how Repool works. And you know, what’s the culture of your business and how you guys are differentiated. So thank you so much for taking the time today.
Kevin Fu 32:16
Jen, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Jennifer Bruno 32:18
Great. All right.