News round-up: Citibank launches China fund custody business; PraxisIFM offloads fund admin division in £50m deal; People moves: THETA, Suntera Global & Allvue

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Citibank launches China fund custody business

Citibank has become one of the first major custodians to be granted approval to operate an onshore Chinese custody business.

Citi China revealed it had received final approval by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to launch securities investment fund custody services onshore.

The move has allowed Citi has become the first major global custodian, in terms of assets under custody, to be permitted to operate a domestic Chinese fund custody business.

The Chinese asset management industry is one of the world’s largest, with an estimated US$19 trillion of assets under management (AUM) onshore.

“We are delighted to assist more of our global clients to participate in the continuously opening Chinese capital markets,” said Christine Lam, CEO of Citi China. “We will play to our strengths in cross-border services and bring the best of our global network and best practices to the Chinese market, providing standardized and global services for domestic and global clients.”

In September last year, Citigroup was the first US-headquartered bank to be granted custodian access in China, through a fund custody licence.

Citi has had a presence in China since 1902 and has been providing cross-border securities services in the country for more than two decades. The bank also participated in the development of several investment avenues for foreign investors, including Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) and Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) through to China Interbank Bond Market (CIBM) Direct.

Late last year, Citi successfully completed some of the first securities lending trades on the first day of the implementation of new QFII regulations, and also facilitated some of the first margin financing and securities borrowing transactions in China for global investors.

“We are honoured to be given this opportunity to support the further development of the Chinese asset management industry and to bring international best practice in securities services to China. We look forward to servicing global asset managers as they establish onshore China business and to work with domestic asset managers as they grow their businesses onshore and globally,” David Russell, Citi’s APAC Head of Securities Services and Hong Kong Markets Head, added.

PraxisIFM offloads fund admin division in £50m deal

Financial services business PraxisIFM Group has sold its fund administration arm to Sanne Group, in an acquisition worth over £50m.

The all-cash offer equates to 20% of PraxisIFM’s overall business revenue.

The agreement with Sanne, which is subject to PraxisIFM Group shareholder and regulatory approvals, will see the transfer of around £25bn of funds administration AuA with offices in Guernsey, London, Malta, Jersey and Luxembourg. Around 90 of the group’s approximate 480 employees will transfer to Sanne. 

PraxisIFM said it completed the deal to focus the business on developing its core divisions of private wealth and corporate services, as well as its pension administration offering.

Sanne operates in the alternative asset management fund administration space, catering for hedge and private equity funds among other asset classes.

Martin Schnaier, CEO of Sanne, said: “The PraxisIFM Fund Administration business is a step-change acquisition for Sanne and we are delighted to have successfully concluded this deal swiftly to maximise the opportunities that are presented. The synergies between the two businesses are clear and we will seek to not only maintain existing levels of service to clients of PraxisIFM but enhance them as the assets and relationships transfer over to us.

“We have world-class technology to deploy, a global network that can bring significant client-value and a complementary value set that will aide what we hope will be a seamless transition for clients. Our thanks go to the Executive Team at PraxisIFM.”    

People moves: THETA, Suntera Global & Allvue

Fixed income specialist Paul Flanagan has joined trading technology firm THETA as Strategic Sales Advisor. Flanagan has more than 30 years’ experience in fixed income sales, most recently acting as Managing Director for Institutional Investor Sales at Lloyds Bank in London. At THETA, Flanagan will manage relationships with hedge funds, asset managers, fund managers and pension funds.

Suntera Global’s recent approval to provide fund administration services in Jersey has been followed up with the firm’s appointment of Ryan Taylor as Head of Funds for Jersey. In his new role, Taylor will help establish the firm’s funds business on the island, with overall responsibility for managing the new fund administration team and growing its client base. His appointment comes shortly after Suntera Global was granted a licence by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) to provide fund administration services to support private equity, real estate, venture capital and other alternative fund managers in the region. He joins Suntera Global from ZEDRA, where he was Director of Fund Services in Jersey.

Alternative investment technology solutions provider Allvue has recruited Deborah Mason as Chief Legal Officer and member of the Executive Leadership Team. Mason, who moves from NielsenIQ, will oversee the firm’s legal team and be responsible for supporting the firm’s corporate activity and managing risk exposure. Mason will report directly to CEO Mark Heimbouch. 

Stephanie Taylor

Head of Event Content, HFM

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