By Ambuj Garg – When the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) approved NAV Fund Services (Cayman) Ltd. to act as an external fund administrator for Experienced Investor Funds (EIFs) domiciled in Gibraltar in October 2021, NAV became only the ninth external fund administrator operating in Gibraltar under GFSC consent. This expansion of fund administration expertise in Gibraltar sets the stage for exponential growth in terms of new fund launches in the jurisdiction and increased support for existing funds to further develop.
"Clients in Gibraltar are looking for a fund administrator that can offer customised services with an attractive pricing structure," NAV COO Ambuj Garg observed. As the newest entrant to fund administrator options in Gibraltar, the firm is well-positioned to support the expected growth in the territory, bringing 30 years of industry experience, flexible technology, a highly cost-effective pricing model, and an expert team ready to quickly implement solutions. NAV offers full fund administration services including fund accounting, financial accounting, compliance support, registrar, transfer agency, and client services.
"European providers tend to be expensive and offer admin services as a fixed menu. With our own proprietary technology and a 200+ in-house IT staff, NAV has the freedom to offer clients solutions customised to their unique needs at a much more cost-effective fee," Garg notes. "And, our solutions easily scale with the growth of the fund. This means clients pay for what they need, when they need it and are not locked into paying for a standard agreement that may include services they don't yet want or require."
Efficiency and professionalism
The outlook for the financial services industry in Gibraltar is bright, but players in the industry need to remain mindful of the potential hurdles they could face on the path to meeting their goals.
According to Garg, the biggest challenges to growth are the availability of reliable technology and the ability to draw on industry expertise in support of rapid, compliant onboarding. "For best success, funds need to work with a fund administrator that understands what's required when, is responsive to questions and issue resolution, and knows how to get things done on a tight timeframe," Garg says.
"In the competitive alternative assets arena, no one can afford delays or errors. NAV offers a knowledgeable team of 1,900+ professionals who can customize and streamline administrative functions, providing fund managers with confidence that their funds will be handled with efficiency and professionalism," he adds.
When announcing NAV's entry into the Gibraltar market, Garg said: "We're pleased to have the opportunity to offer EIF managers operating in Gibraltar -- and fund managers who may have an interest in domiciling funds there -- our proven administration solutions, backed by our decades of experience in the industry worldwide. Our expertise, superior client service, and proprietary technology enable us to provide comprehensive solutions and a very competitive pricing structure."
Gibraltar is an internationally competitive market, offering a focus on regulatory compliance, favorable tax status, and a streamlined process that supports rapid set up of funds. "Gibraltar's diverse and strong economy has made it a leading international financial services centre. We look forward to bringing our services to such a strategically well-positioned business environment," Garg explains.
As the jurisdiction makes headway in further asserting its status internationally, Garg points out NAV will help promote competition and growth in the Gibraltar financial jurisdiction by holding the line on pricing and helping clients with Gibraltar-domiciled funds manage lean, economical operations with no impact on the quality of investor services or fund performance.
"Historically, rather than increasing client fees, we look to continuously improve our own processes and technology to keep our costs low and pass along that value to clients. This philosophy, combined with our global experience with 1,800+ clients and USD155 billion AUA, has helped us refine a very efficient business model that benefits both clients and their investors," Garg continues.
Opportunities with the growth of cryptocurrencies
Gibraltar is also especially attractive to cryptocurrency funds. The government has been applauded on its receptive and progressive approach in this space, which continues to demand more investor attention.
As the largest and most experienced fund administrator in the crypto space, currently working with more than 350 crypto funds globally, NAV is well-situated to support the further growth of alternative asset funds in Gibraltar. "Having access to an administrator with specialised crypto expertise can only result in more crypto fund managers choosing to domicile their fund in Gibraltar," Garg suggested.
NAV's professional staff includes a team of 200+ dedicated to crypto fund services that understands implementation requirements for complex crypto strategies. NAV has established API connectivity with more than 80 on-boarded exchanges – more than any other administrator -- and developed a proprietary crypto portfolio reconciliation technology, meaning both onboarding and ongoing reporting for crypto funds are efficient and reliable.
New partnerships for growth and success
"We look forward to supporting the growth of the Gibraltar financial service industry," Garg states, "We work with our clients as collaborative partners -- with everyone focused on success -- and are eager to introduce Gibraltar-domiciled funds to the NAV family."
Ambuj Garg, Chief Operating Officer, NAV Fund Services
Ambuj has more than 16 years of hedge fund administration industry experience, specializing in alternative investments. His role at NAV includes strategizing and implementing operational process efficiencies, designing and supervising internal core accounting operations and procedures, and managing business development functions. Additionally, Ambuj directs setup and implementation teams for both new clients and those transitioning existing funds to NAV, with a focus on support of new funds and emerging managers during the critical initial launch phase. He holds advanced degrees in management and computer applications and is a Chartered Accountant.
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