The Truth About Switching Fund Administrators

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June 3, 2024

Written by:

Emma Summers

Switching fund administrators has become increasingly common in the realm of closed-end fund management. This decision can be driven by various factors, and while it's often seen as a strategic move to enhance efficiency and improve services, many fund managers hesitate to take the plunge. Their concerns include potential headaches from the migration process, fear of disruption in daily operations, cost implications, and the challenge of aligning a new administrator with established internal processes. However, fund managers need not fear this transition. If it is the right move for the firm, the benefits can far outweigh the perceived challenges, making the switch a worthwhile consideration.

Overcoming the Hesitation

Switching fund administrators is not a decision made lightly; it requires thoughtful planning and coordination. Understandably, there may be concerns about potential disruptions in fund operations, and some investors and key stakeholders might be hesitant about change. Additionally, the initial cost and time investment for the switch can seem significant. However, with proper planning and execution, these challenges can be managed effectively. There are many compelling reasons why making the switch can ultimately be beneficial for your fund.

The Pros Outweigh the Cons

Despite the potential challenges, switching administrators can yield substantial long-term benefits that far exceed the initial effort:

  1. Enhanced Service: A new or specialized administrator can provide higher-quality services, customized solutions that better fit the fund's requirements, and advanced technology platforms that greatly enhance efficiency and client satisfaction.
  2. Cost Effectiveness: Over time, improved service terms and streamlined operations can result in cost savings, offsetting the initial expenses associated with the transition.
  3. Strategic Alignment: Finding an administrator that aligns closely with the firm's strategic objectives and values can lead to tailored services and a deeper mutual understanding, contributing to overall success.

Gain Real Insights: Q&A with a Senior Onboarding Associate

For an in-depth understanding of the transition process and strategies for a seamless switch, we sat down with our Senior Onboarding Associate, Scotty Hupp, who oversees all incoming transitions. Here’s what he shared:

What is the typical duration for onboarding?

The duration of onboarding migrations can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on several factors. Once we've gathered all necessary information and documents from the prior administrator, key factors influencing timing include the number of entities, the volume of investors and investments, and the availability of historical financial information. Additionally, having this data well-organized and in Excel format can expedite the process.

What information do you need to onboard a new fund?

There are several key pieces of information needed, including fund formation documents (like LPAs), investor details (subscription documents, tax forms, all associated contacts and emails), capital account information for each partner, investment details, and historical financial statements.

Can you describe the high-level process of onboarding a fund?

The fund onboarding process is structured into three main stages: information collection, system setup, and review. Initially, we gather all necessary historical data and documents essential for the transition. Subsequently, we proceed with updating our systems, ensuring that the collected data is current up to the most recent quarter. Following this, we conduct an internal and client review to ensure accuracy and completeness before inviting investors to the new system. Ideally, this invitation aligns with an event such as a capital call or reporting period. Throughout this process, most fund managers collaborate directly with the prior fund administrator to facilitate a smooth and efficient transition.

When is the best time to transition?

For fund managers considering a transition, the optimal timing varies based on several factors. Firstly, understanding the termination clause with the current fund administrator is crucial to determine when the move can be made. Secondly, collaborating with the new fund administrator to devise a transition plan, including the timing and the reporting period to be taken over, is advisable. In general, the summer season is often regarded as favorable for transitions. While year-end transitions can present challenges, they should not necessarily dissuade fund managers from considering a switch during that period. However, it's essential to carefully assess the potential impact on audit and tax processes and plan accordingly to mitigate any disruptions.

How should fund managers communicate a migration to limited partners effectively?

Fund managers should prioritize transparency when communicating a migration to LPs. Providing clear information about when the old service will cease and the new one will commence can help alleviate concerns. In today's landscape, LPs are accustomed to fund administrator transitions, but having an expected timeline and details on how they can access their data can be incredibly beneficial and reassuring.

What are common causes of transition delays?

Delays in transitions can arise from several factors, such as data not being in a readily manageable format like Excel or unresponsiveness and lack of cooperation from previous administrators. It's advisable for clients to maintain control over their information and retain copies of all data internally to mitigate potential delays.

Why Switch to Vector?

Switching to Vector means choosing a partner dedicated to innovation and quality without compromising on personalized service. Here's why we're the right choice:

  • Top-Tier Talent: Our team of industry experts combines expertise with a service-first mindset, ensuring you have the best people working for you who are deeply committed to your success.
  • Advanced Proprietary Technology: Our Valence platform is designed to enhance, not replace, our personalized approach. It provides intuitive portals for LPs and GPs, robust tracking and reporting for attribute-level analyses (including IRR and multiples), and a purpose-built general ledger for meaningful reports—all while maintaining strong client relationships.
  • Innovative Workflows: We have re-engineered traditional fund administration workflows to be more efficient and effective, reducing errors and increasing responsiveness.
  • Comprehensive Services: From fund launch support to management company services and everything in between, our suite of services covers a comprehensive scope of fund administration, tailored to meet the specific demands of closed-end funds.

Joining Vector: A Strategic Move

Choosing Vector as your fund administrator is not just about switching services; it’s about making a strategic decision to elevate your fund's administration to the next level. We don't just keep up with industry standards—we set them. Our team is dedicated to delivering nothing short of exceptional service. We understand that each fund has its unique challenges and requirements, and our goal is to tailor our solutions to meet these specific needs. We believe in enhancing rather than replacing the human touch in fund administration. While some may rely on software to replace accountants, we understand the limitations of such an approach. Instead, we've developed technology that complements and amplifies our service-first model. This means you get the best of both worlds: advanced technological tools backed by skilled professionals who prioritize your success.


Switching fund administrators may appear daunting due to the intricacies involved, but the long-term advantages of enhanced service, cutting-edge technology, and strategic alignment surpass the initial hurdles. With meticulous planning, transparent communication, and adequate support, the transition can be seamless and ultimately advantageous for both fund managers and investors.

This content is general in nature and is not intended to serve as accounting, legal, or other professional advice. Vector AIS assumes no responsibility for the reader’s reliance on this information. Every VC and PE fund is unique, and it is paramount to adhere to the fund's governing documents as drafted by experienced legal counsel. Before implementing any of the ideas contained in this publication, readers should consult with a professional advisor to determine whether the ideas apply to their unique circumstances.

About Vector

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With a commitment to building the next generation of fund administration, Vector offers closed-end fund managers industry-leading technology, top-tier talent, innovative workflows, and a comprehensive suite of integrated fund services.

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