International Private Equity Services (IPES), Guernsey-based independent provider of fund administration services, is expanding into Belgium and Jersey and is launching an online service for funds. IPES’ expansion in Belgium and Jersey, in the form of joint ventures with local groups, coincides with regulatory changes in both jurisdictions that should benefit the private equity industry.
IPES was established in 1998 by Connie Helyar and Peter Gillson and now administers private equity funds in excess of €13bn. In the five years since the group was formed as a joint venture between the management team and four VC groups, staff numbers have risen from six to 45. According to Fitzrovia International, Guernsey’s fund servicing industry has grown by $11.5bn (or 22%) over the last year, with total fund assets serviced on the island reaching $62.5bn as at the end of June 2003.
In Belgium IPES recently set up a joint venture with Leuvan-based Accounting & Tax Partners, which provides tax, accounting and management reporting services, specialising in high tech companies, private equity and venture capital vehicles, holding and management companies. IPES’ decision to move into the Belgian market is motivated by the recent creation of a tax efficient investment vehicle, the Private Privak or PP. It is anticipated that the introduction of the PP, a non-listed closed-end special purpose vehicle, will bring extra international private equity business to Belgium.
The private equity fund administration industry in Jersey also stands to benefit from the fund policy changes that should be announced shortly by the Financial Services Commission there. Research from Fitzrovia International shows that private equity/venture capital funds domiciled in Jersey are already growing impressively, rising from $10.0bn (in 90 funds) to $14bn (in 108 funds) in the year to June 30, 2003. To capitalise on the expansion of the industry in Jersey IPES is teaming up with Capita Trust Company, the fifth largest custodian of funds services in Jersey and a subsidiary of Capita Group, to form CIPES. Services offered by IPES Belgium and CIPES will include fund launches, corporate secretarial, accounting, investment processing, general administration and investor relations and communications.
In response to the need for an improved method of distributing timely financial documents to its clients and their fund investors, IPES is also launching secure eCRM solution for online distribution of fund performance documents. The service supports a potentially unlimited number of clients, funds, investors, limited partnerships and documents. Benefits include the secure delivery of documents anywhere in the world, the availability of information at fund and individual investor levels, a structure tailored to different relationships and a scalable architecture to cope with large numbers of documents.