Are Fund Platforms Truly a Turnkey Solution? Mechanics for Marketing in the E.U. and Mitigating Brexit’s Impact (Part One of Three)

In addition to encountering regulatory obstacles, U.S. fund managers looking to access E.U. investors must also confront the high cost of establishing E.U. fund operations. In response to this issue, establishing a sub-fund on an umbrella fund platform (Fund Platform) created and run by a third-party management company has recently flourished based on its promise of being a “turnkey solution” to these problems. While the ease and access provided by the Fund Platform structure makes it a very tempting solution relative to others in the E.U., it is a path that is also fraught with potential peril if improperly understood and navigated. To assist U.S. fund managers in overcoming these barriers, this three-part series will weigh the merits of the Fund Platform structure and key considerations for managers to balance when choosing between platform providers. This first article provides an overview of the Fund Platform structure relative to alternative options and describes how fund managers can employ Fund Platforms to overcome obstacles caused by Brexit. The second article in this series will detail the advantages and disadvantages of adopting this fund structure for marketing in the E.U. The third article will explore key considerations for fund managers when selecting a Fund Platform provider and negotiating the corresponding onboarding documents. See “FCA Report Explores the Impact of Platforms, Governing Bodies and Manager Compensation Structures on Fund Competition (Part One of Two)” (Apr. 6, 2017); and “Passports, Platforms and Private Placement: Options for Marketing Funds in Europe in the Post-AIFMD Era” (Apr. 30, 2015).

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