In January 2017, Neil Coxhead joined CACEIS Bank, UK Branch as Head of regional Coverage for the UK and Ireland, and as of 1st February 2018, will also take on the role of Managing Director of the UK entity. He shares his views on CACEIS’s plans for the UK and Ireland zone and the outlook for the asset management industry.
With a host of AIFMD-compliant services and specialist AIF software, do you have everything in place to meet AIFM’s needs in the UK and Ireland?
Neil Coxhead - Thanks to the great work of my predecessor, Clara Dunne, we have created a very strong offer for AIFM clients, which relies on the group’s global AIF servicing experience and a centralised infrastructure, which allows us to leverage leading AIF software platforms. We have both the scale to support global players, and the flexibility required to service boutique managers. In addition to our AIF servicing capabilities, which was the groups’ first step into the UK, we now offer UCITScompliant Depositary and Administration services, which I see as a key area to develop, given the growing trend of alternative managers seeking to launch traditional investment products in parallel with their alternative products. Broadening our focus to include traditional asset managers will enable us to capture a wider selection of clients, in line with the convergent trend between alternative and traditional management.
What is your take on being a French player in the UK market? How does it shape client perception and does it hold any benefits?
NC - Since joining CACEIS, I have been struck by how international the group’s outlook is. True it is headquartered in France, our biggest market, but the group’s policy is that each entity worldwide is headed by a local manager who fully understands not just the local market, but also the domestic business culture, both of which are key to developing and maintaining strong client relationships.
During my first year with CACEIS, I have been party to the close cooperation between the entities and our UK clients who benefit enormously from the group’s scale and multijurisdictional offer. I have been involved in a number of discussions with our Continental European clients as they look at the feasibility of launching UK domiciled funds. The strong relationships CACEIS has established with these clients on the continent is bringing significant opportunities for us here in the UK.
CACEIS’s top management have expressed their commitment to the UK and backed that up with the resources, which allow the UK entity to take the necessary steps to further develop our market facing teams and the servicing offer for the UK. The market may be dominated by US players, but our position in Europe offers UK clients an important gateway to the European markets, as well as the US and Asia.
As Head of Regional Coverage in the UK and Ireland, what are your goals for the region and how do you intend on achieving them?
NC - Aside from regular client meetings and group level workshops, we have been focusing on enhancing our product and service offering to ensure it is well adapted to managers operating in the UK market. Essential steps were bringing the group’s full AIF service proposition to UK clients and obtaining the UCITS-related licenses that allow us to offer CACEIS’s extensive services to traditional funds in the UK.
Hiring local expertise is also crucial and I am delighted that Jean-Paul Joseph (Relationship Manager) and Matthew Ives (Business Development Director) joined Paddy Walsh and Arnaud Garel-Galais in senior client facing roles. Jean-Paul and Matthew joined from Fidelity and Fund Partners respectively and both bring extensive local market experience.
We ran a couple of successful client events in London in 2017, which provided a great opportunity to get to know clients and prospects better, and discuss our mutual business development goals. Further events are being planned for 2018 as we work to increase our local brand awareness. One event will be scheduled to share the result of an industry survey we are running in conjunction with Funds Europe, under the title “the changing face of the asset management industry”. We are expecting some interesting insights to help provide us with areas of focus for 2018 and beyond.