A FUND’S LIFE CYCLE—CREATING VALUE AT EVERY STAGE
CSC streamlines transactions and back-office support for asset managers through every stage of a fund’s life cycle. CSC’s Drew McMahon, associate director of U.S. Fund Services, and Ciela McDevitt, Global Financial Markets (GFM) corporate solutions manager, will review how you can optimize fund operations across the life cycle.LEARN MORE
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The session will include:
Stages of fund’s life cycle
Checklist for the operational efficiencies at every stage
Fund launch—formation through capital raise
Investor onboarding—AML/KYC, and other considerations
Growth and acquisition—best practices for entity maintenance and local compliance
Investment and portfolio management—M&A escrow agent, loan agent, independent directors, and qualified custodian
Realization and liquidation—roles of a liquidating trustee and disbursing agent
Disclaimer: Please be advised that this recorded webinar has been edited from its original format, which may have included a product demo. To set up a live demo or to request more information, please complete the form to the right. Or if you are currently not on CSC Global, there is a link to the website in the description of this video. Thank you.
Christy: Hello, everyone, and welcome to today's webinar, "A Fund's Life Cycle – Creating Value at Every Stage." My name is Christy DeMaio Ziegler, and I will be your moderator.
Joining us today are Drew McMahon and Ciela McDevitt. Drew is the associate director of Fund Services for CSC Global Financial Markets and focuses on business development for the U.S. fund administration business. Ciela is a corporate solutions manager for the Corporate Legal Solutions Division of CSC and has over 17 years of experience. Ciela is responsible for customer satisfaction, technology training, and new services.
And with that, let's welcome Drew and Ciela.
Ciela: Christy, thank you so much for the introduction. Some of our resources were quite a mouthful, but you got through them perfectly. Well done.
Ciela: Am I doing the introduction for Drew and I today? Oh, no, you just did it. I'm so sorry. Let me introduce . . .
Christy: Ciela, it's all you. You got it.
Ciela: Anyway, to our attendees, thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate it. Sorry for that mental slip there.
So this is our headquarters building, which is where I'm presenting today and a piece of our history. We've been around since 1899, servicing trusts and entities which evolved into our fund and special purpose vehicle services. So we really thrive within the nooks and crannies of a private fund.
So super excited to present all of this information today and to hear from you. We're going to have some polling questions and live Q&A at the end. You know, some of the topics we're going to cover could be a whole webinar within themselves, so would love to have your participation just to find out what you'd like to learn more about.
And if you are thinking that our landscaping looks a little wild, it is. CSC installed all native plants and grasses to support local birds and pollinators, which is one of the many reasons why I love working here.
So here's who we serve. CSC works with over 10,000 legal professionals and law firms, over 3,000 financial market clients. We work with over 180,000 corporate clients, and that's all the way from small businesses up to 90% of the Fortune 5. We have been awarded top workplace many, many times across many states, which is something we're really proud of. Like myself, I've been here for 17 years. We have a really expert team because it's a great place to work and people stick around.
Drew: Thanks, Ciela. As Ciela said, you know, CSC we work with about 3,000 financial markets customers. Really what we do is provide specialized administrative solutions for really the middle and back office of private funds. So we work with a number of different alternative investment firms, like private equity, venture capital, private debt, real estate, and infrastructure funds. But really we can provide solutions at the fund level up top but also down at the portfolio company level, really working with a lot of capital markets participants.
In addition to kind of the typical fund structure, we do also offer some of these transactional support services directly to corporate clients that maybe aren't part of a fund or don't have a financial sponsor. But for today's purposes, we are going to focus on the fund life cycle and really how fund managers can maximize efficiencies with their operations.
So for the agenda today, like I said, we will go over the fund life cycle, which we break down into four distinct phases, and then we'll go over the operational needs that arise with each stage and really how proper planning and working with the right vendors can help fund managers really create operational efficiencies and equally as important, if not more important, avoid a lot of operational pitfalls that can trouble closing an investment or provide proper reporting to investors.
You know, with a lot of things in this industry, there's a lot of jargon for different services. So Ciela and I will be sure to define certain key terms to make sure everyone is on the same page. And finally, at the end of this, we will have Q&A, where we can respond to your questions live.
So you'll be seeing this image several times throughout this presentation, and we really use it as the basis for our topic today, which is the typical life cycle of a private capital fund. And we break it down into four main components — the fund launch, the capital raise, the investment and portfolio management period, and then the realization and liquidation. You'll see in the middle also is fund administration services, which will be a concept throughout the fund life cycle. Really the difference will be some of the fund admin deliverables may vary given the phase and stage of the fund. But that's something that we'll be continuing to talk about as we kind of move through these stages.
But we'll start here with, at the top, fund launch. So this is really the fund formation stage, where a lot of the fund managers we talk to and work with are taking the advice of their attorneys and counsel as well as other advisors and handling a lot of legal, regulatory, tax, operational type of questions to really consider in a way the different solutions available to create the fund structure that's really the most appealing to their investor base.
So when they're doing that, they're going to be looking at a few things on fund structure. Obviously, the goal is going to be, for the most time, is to minimize taxes and maximize liability protections. We see funds with every type of fund structure imaginable, you know, the GP, blockers, feeders, parallel vehicles, SPVs, REITs, various hold cos. Those are all kind of decided at the, you know, with your attorneys, but figuring out that fund structure is absolutely key and will determine really how that fund is going to operate.
The typical fund is an LP. Although, some funds do structure as an LLC or have LLCs in their fund structure as well as funds that either utilize Delaware statutory trusts as more or less holding companies for say real estate transactions. But also entire funds can be structured as a DST.
So once that formation is kind of decided on, what are the services that a fund manager needs to consider? And that's entity formation and registered agent. Ciela will get much more in depth into this later in the webinar, but CSC, a lot of people know us for our corporate and legal services and that's certainly a large service we provide for fund managers. But in addition to that, there's corporate secretarial services. There may need to be nominee managers or directors and officers on certain parts of the fund structure. Partnership representative services may be needed. That's the IRS requirement that any U.S. entity designates a partnership representative so that they are the person the IRS can correspond with directly in the event of an audit.
And then finally, fund administration. So during that fund formation, it's really important to get the kind of vendors lined up and really think through your operations. And really picking a fund administrator is pretty much paramount of those decisions being made.
So the things to consider with fund administration is, one, do you outsource it or do it in-house. In the event that you are outsourcing, which is what we're seeing the majority of new fund managers looking to do, based on both looking to offload operational burdens looking to scale, and really a lot of it's based on investor demand these days.
The things to consider: Is the fund administrator the right size for your fund, for your needs and things of that nature? Will you be a small fish in a big pond? You know, those are things to consider to make sure you're getting the responsiveness that you need.
Other things to look at, does the fund administrator have the stability and the expertise on staff to really execute what's needed for your fund strategy. Then, again, technology will also be a key decision component of that. Does the fund manager utilize a good investor portal, utilize the best, out-of-the-box general ledger technology? Things of that nature are also important to consider.
But finally on this slide, we talk about responsiveness and customization of reporting. Based on that poll response question, obviously that's going to be a big need going forward. So when you're picking the fund administrator, you need to decide: What are the outputs that you need and what is the frequency of those? How does that handoff and approval process look within the fund manager as well as with your fund administrator? How much lead time is needed, and what are the required components and what data needs to be tracked to create those reports?
These are things that, here at CSC, we immortalize in what we call a service level agreement. So we use the SLA to really provide a detailed list of every deliverable and then break down responsibilities for both the fund administrator as well as the fund manager or the third-party valuation party, you know, provider, so that everything is on a sheet of paper. Everyone is on the same page as far as who is responsible for what and what the deadlines and deliverables are.
You know, importantly going to this next stage of the fund life cycle, picking out the right auditor, the right fund admin, the key vendors that will serve the fund, it's really important to demonstrate the seriousness of your fund launch as well as it can really help with operational due diligence, and, in the end, really make fundraising sometimes a little bit faster or just easier.
But now going on to the capital raise, you know, at this point the PPM is drafted, and you're looking to circulate things to investors. But what often comes up though are operational burdens, like subscription doc review, processing, AML/KYC, and then potentially the need for independent escrow agent.
So the typical manager focus is understandably focusing on fundraising. So they're working with like a placement agent maybe, but they're really focusing on distributing that PPM and responding to investors due diligence requests.
But what really shouldn't be ignored is putting those operational, potential burdens in place before the fundraising really begins. So you see certain offerings require independent escrow agents. Some investors may ask or require it. So it's something you might want to have lined up before engaging investors, so that's something that you can quickly execute if it becomes a need .
Subscription document review, again that should be either decided to be done in-house but in an organized manner or with your fund administrator to be reviewed for investor onboarding and making sure everything is completed and documented in the correct way.
In addition to the investor onboarding, you have the AML/KYC collection and review. And that's really important when you soft circle potential large commitments and you think they're coming in and they don't pass AML/KYC or that's not organized, it can really derail a successful fundraising. So it's really something important to focus on.
So going a little bit deeper into the AML and KYC, this is something that was I think our number two response in the prior poll. It's a big operational burden. It's something that's changing rapidly, with new regulations kind of going into place across various jurisdictions. So the operational lift is the investor identification, the diligence, the verification of those investors. But there are other hurdles, like the compliance with offshore jurisdictions. And now, with the new AML Act of 2020 going into place, there's a lot of new things to learn, new ways to process AML/KYC, that are really adding to that operational burden.
Now for a shameless plug of CSC. We are doing an additional webinar on AML and KYC on March 15th in conjunction with First Republic Bank. So anyone who wants to learn more about that, please let us know. We'll make sure you're registered.
But again, going back to AML and KYC, a lot of inbound calls to us are about outsourcing that in particular. So then you want to consider vendors that can stay up to date with the latest requirements, that if you have a global fund offering or global investors you want a fund admin or a service provider that really is in multiple jurisdictions and then has the ongoing education to stay up to date with all those things as the new regulations are going into place.
Ciela, I'll turn it back to you to ESG.
Ciela: Thanks, Drew. And we do have in the Resource widget, which will open up. I think it's actually open now, but you can definitely get it at the end too is a link to the CSC Global financial market blog, and we do post our webinars there. So that would be another way to find the AML and KYC session where we're going to focus on just that.
ESG has been another I will say kind of part of the due diligence that maybe asset managers are spending more time on. So we wanted to include this as a resource. This is CSC's ESG page.
Drew, I think you were saying too about . . . No, it's okay. I wanted to ask you. I think that sometimes it even goes further and that it's not just due diligence on the asset manager but also maybe the asset manager's vendors.
Drew: Exactly. Yeah. So I mean there is the hot topic right now of ESG reporting, and that's kind of very much in flux because it's not something that's been standardized yet. But it's also important to remember, when you think about ESG, it's not just focusing on the portfolio companies that are in the fund and things of that nature. But a lot of ESG investors do their diligence on the vendors the fund selects to make sure those vendors are also ESG compliant, and it's something that's a core part of their operating principle. So it's just something to keep in mind.
Okay, moving on. So at this stage in the life cycle, you've launched the structure. You have the successful capital raise, and now it's really entering that investment stage, where you're making transactions and adding portfolio companies or loans or properties to the fund. So this is really where operational efficiencies and really just organization can shine and help execute transactions quickly, and also, from the fund administration side, really make sure the investors are kept up to date and things are functioning correctly.
So on the fund ops side, here in the middle, that's more of the fund admin in the center of the image. At this point, fund accounting and valuation updates need to be working properly as the fund is making investments and keeping track of them and then obviously reporting that out to investors. So that goes back kind of to the SLA, making sure everything is functioning and you have clear communication with your fund admin.
But the two things actually at the bottom of the fund ops are the things I would be very concerned about, which is capital calls and distributions. You really need that, again, immortalized in the SLA and have constant communications with your administrator to make sure those are operating correctly. We hear a ton of stories about distributions going out that aren't accurate amounts and sometimes, even more dangerously, entirely missed capital calls. You can imagine if you're a buyout firm and you're about to make an acquisition and the cash isn't on hand at the close because of a missed capital call, which has actually happened, that can completely derail an entire acquisition of a portfolio company.
And on management fee calculations, that's really about quality control and quality checks. So you need to make sure there's multiple eyes and a process in place, that's been tested over years, that make sure it guarantees accurate and timely fee calculations. In fact, there was just a very large infrastructure fund advisor that settled with the SEC for failure to properly offset management fees. So there's obviously the SEC fines that can be quite steep, but there's also the reputational risk that you take by not having those fund operations running smoothly.
On the transaction support side, having everything done under one roof. We believe that CSC is a much easier vendor solution for fund managers and again kind of avoids the work and operating workflows, and just types of miscommunications can happen across multiple vendors.
So we see a lot of need for M&A escrow agents in the transaction support. So especially, in the buyout space, people want M&A holdbacks. But then if the transactions require separate entities be formed and things of that nature. Independent directors for bankruptcy remote entities are very important. In the loan agency space, there's just been a lot of need for private debt funds, direct debt, direct lenders, funds of that nature to use a loan agent. It's just operationally much cleaner and really takes a lot of burden off of the fund manager and really de-risks the transaction. It really makes the borrower and the manager feel much more comfortable. In addition to that, SPV management and then qualified custodian are other services that we offer at CSC that are often used by fund managers to facilitate transactions.
One of the roles that I was just discussing is that independent escrow agent. CSC provides that through Delaware Trust Company, our wholly-owned and regulated trust company. The independent escrow agent is really an agent that holds the funds and escrow assets for parties to a transaction. So it facilitates the transaction by providing comfort to any party. You know, if it's a bilateral trade or if there's multiple parties, it just provides comfort across the board.
And then once the transaction conditions are satisfied, the escrow agent releases and disburses the funds to all the appropriate parties. So it's a pretty simple part of the transactions, but it's something that really can help facilitate a close and make sure everyone is comfortable getting to yes and making a final deal.
Ciela, are you're going to take in, you know, the typical . . .
Ciela: Sure. Yeah, definitely. I would say we usually set up the M&A escrows are the most frequent. It's often appointed by the attorney working on the transaction. So maybe for some of you, who are in the financial profession, it might have been something your attorneys did for you and it just kind of it all happened. It came together.
But we did want to include it as a consideration here, and they happen with lots of types of transactions. So it could be a subscription for a private placement offering escrow. It could be for intellectual property, even for SPACs, which I know were very popular over the past two years with real estate. And CSC does work as an escrow agent for all of these types of transactions. So it's something, if you need, we can take care of for you. Typically an appointment would last one to three years, but it definitely varies based on the particular agreement.
All right. So moving on from escrow, we wanted to cover some of the terms within the investment part of the fund, the investment portfolio. So sometimes what's also needed may be an independent director. So we provide all kinds of director services. It may be that we provide a local director with a special purpose vehicle for tax planning or to create domicile. These are a bit different.
An independent director is appointed to make an entity bankruptcy remote. This graphic here you're seeing is a very common example of how one would be structured with a commercial real estate deal. But they happen with all sorts of transactions, just like an escrow.
It could be required by a lender. It could also be required by an agency to receive a better investment grade rating for a bond issuance. And then for the borrower, it really just gets them greater access to the capital markets.
So when selecting an independent director, you want to make sure that the independent director has experience, they're nationally recognized, not affiliated with your own corporate group. It has to be a third independent party. And then you want their duties to be set forth within the operating agreement or bylaws of a corporation, depending on the type of entity, and for those to be very clear.
So one thing that CSC does different with our independent director service is we have our own in-house legal team to review the documents. So one of the first things we do is we ask for a copy of the formation documents, the operating agreement, the date of close so we can be mindful of timing. But our legal team will review those documents to make sure that everything is set up for the independent director appointment, which avoids some operational hurdles down the line. Everything is right from the onset of the appointment. And some other providers out there, they outsource that part to a third party, so it can slow things down and there can be extra fees. So generally, in this space, we're a really good go-to partner because we do everything here, and this is something we do as a regular course of business.
You may also come across the need for a springing member with a certain transaction. Pretty similar, except for that they're appointed specifically to spring in, in case a partner should no longer be part of an entity, just to keep it active and alive. So our independent director team can also serve as a springing member as it's needed.
And with that, I'm going to pass it to Drew to go over our next term — loan agency.
Drew: Thanks, Ciela. Yeah. So with the debt funds we work with, we see a tremendous demand for loan agency services in conjunction with fund admin. The loan agency typical roles and what it really means is that a loan administrative agent, it's often offered on a white label basis to our fund managers. We see a lot of need for direct lending loan agents and collateral agents. But really what the loan agent does is it acts as an intermediary between borrowers and lenders. So they maintain the corporate bank account. They calculate and administer the loan interest. They maintain the lender register. They review loan documents, and they can safeguard pledged collateral for the secured party. So again, it's something that a lot of debt funds are using for a number of different types of loan strategies.
So the typical transaction types, we work with a variety of them, but, like I said, in the fund world we see a lot of demand for direct lending loan agency, middle market loans, and then some syndicated loans, or certainly those three are very, very popular these days. But we also do DIP financing, exit financing, revolving loans, and successor loan agent. So there's a number of debt transactions that require loan agency that we can provide services on.
An important thing about Delaware Trust and CSC is that we're a privately held institution, and we're not affiliated with any lending institution. So we're independent of conflicts of interest. So we're able to get to quick answers on service and whether it's a fit or not, and we don't need to pass people around to multiple groups to be able to get approval. So it allows us to be more nimble, which is an important differentiator.
But again, like I said, at the top we're going to go through a couple of the key terms. Especially in trust and agency world, there's a few things we just want to make sure we define clearly.
So a collateral agent, I think I've mentioned a few times now, but that holds a variety of the assets in safekeeping on behalf of the parties to an agreement of a transaction.
The qualified custodian is regulated by the SEC and is eligible to maintain client funds and securities. For fund managers that aren't RIAs, they often use a qualified custodian of the custody of their assets, and that helps them stay in compliance with the custody rule and go with a surprise audit rather than submit to a full annual audit. So it's something that we see a lot of managers kind of looking to us to use as well.
Exchange and tender agent facilitates the transfer and cancellation of securities. And the escrow and specialized paying agent, I've gone through already, but provides neutral, third-party administration to administer a variety of property pursuant to the agreement of the parties.
Now going on, Ciela, you're going to handle SPVs?
Ciela: You got it. Yes, so special purpose vehicles, they go by many names. You may hear them called blockers, side cars, trade cos depending on how they're being used, SPEs, SPVs. So we thought we would just cover some key terms here.
Corporate secretarial services. You know, companies that are doing business in multiple jurisdictions, whether it's a Delaware entity and they just need annual meeting and resolutions for changes of officers and directors and keeping up with minute books, or in other countries where the requirements may be there might be a lot more to it than that. So special purpose vehicles will often need corporate secretarial support to fit the compliance of that specific jurisdiction.
Things like basic office services as well may be needed with a special purpose vehicle. Particularly with tax planning, there may be a need to have an address in Delaware or Cayman or somewhere specific. So that's often a service that comes into play with special purpose vehicles. So not only fulfilling the corporate secretarial support, but also providing a principal place of business, mail forwarding, telephone services.
And sometimes it might just be a special purpose vehicle that's holding an asset that's going to be sold off. So an asset manager will want to keep all that work separate. The corporate secretarial, the office, the director, cash management and accounting and maybe even, you know, would want some help opening up a bank account and keeping that all with the service provider.
So these are all things we do within our Special Purpose Vehicle unit. Sometimes you might hear the term "passive investment company." So that's really that entity for tax planning purposes, and managers will often partner with a service provider for some of those needs, whether it's in the U.S. or international.
And CSC does provide special purpose vehicle services in Delaware as a regular course of business, but also in key financial market centers — Singapore, Hong Kong, UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
So funds tend to have many entities, and entities need a lot of upkeep. So typically the secretary of state will require an annual filing, like an annual report or franchise tax. There's minute book considerations. Most countries have some sort of annual meeting requirement as part of the compliance and then resolutions for changes. There's tracking details, like who can sign for each company, who the officers and directors are, what's the capital and ownership. And a registered agent helps with all of this or can help with all of this.
And that's something that we do here at CSC. So our primary responsibility as a registered agent is to receive service of process, and that, of course, is also very important because service of process is time sensitive. So there's usually a certain amount of time in which you need to respond. So it really helps if all of your entities are together with one registered agent so you're getting your service of process in a consistent fashion, and that if you're on vacation, it's a registered agent that's going to pick up the phone and call someone else and make sure that they're seeing their service of process in that timely fashion.
They're also going to help with keeping track of all of your good standing due dates to the different secretaries of state and different jurisdictions where you're doing business.
So I'm actually going to put a life cycle within the life cycle, like a dream within a dream. We're going to do the entity life cycle because I've gotten some good feedback on this slide.
A lot of times your legal counsel is going to be handling this for you, but it's nice to know the terms. So with formations is usually the start of an entity's life, going through the maintenance of it. There's tracking all those key, oops sorry, tracking all those key details, your annual filings. We are going to talk about business licenses a bit. They may be filed by the entity, but more so driven by the industry and the physical location. So we'll get into that in a moment. And then there's also, of course, matter management for tracking things like your service of process and contracts.
And then, as the business expands, it may need global subsidiary management as it's going into other countries and it needs corporate secretarial support there or a local director. And then there's changes with the entity. So that would be an amendment to change a company name. In some states where a director or officer or manager is listed on the formation documents, that could be changed either via an annual report or an amendment.
Qualifications, that's when you take a company like a Delaware LLC and qualify it to do business in Maryland. That's typically called a foreign qualification.
So those are some of the filings you would see as an entity is growing. And then at the end of its life cycle, an entity, if you wanted to close it down, would file a dissolution. And then you'd want to make sure to remember to file withdrawals in any qualified states. So when you're closing down in a home state, it's called a dissolution, and in a qualified state it would normally be called a withdrawal.
So that's at the typical entity life cycle. Of course, we can help you with any of that along the way and any questions.
We also have award-winning Entity Management technology. So when we are your registered agent, core entity details, we are already tracking them for you with direct links through the secretary of state databases, so things like file date, file number, good standing status, registered agent, and documents. And when we're the registered agent, all of those details automatically flow into the CSCNavigator portal for you.
And then we have Entity Management technology, that builds off of all of that data, that you can use to create structure charts or charts for your fund. So with just a few clicks of a button, you pick the shapes, colors, information, and data points that you want to include, and it would build this org chart for you.
It is an amazing technology. We just added a feature to it at the end of last year that allows on-screen manipulation. So you can kind of drag and drop the companies right on the screen to make them appear exactly the way you want. It's got all the different shapes, colors, and it supports international entities and currencies. It makes it a lot easier to build those structure charts. So for anyone who's interested in seeing that, we would love to share that with you.
And then I did want to cover business licenses really quickly because, to me, this should be considered an asset of the business because without one business can be shut down. We are seeing local law enforcement more and more get involved when a business license isn't in place. So as a fund manager, you may consider this more with your portfolio companies or with a real estate fund your properties because wherever a business has a physical location, it may have a local, like a city or county requirement.
And on the left you're seeing the most common types. So business gross tax receipts is really common, privilege tax, occupational license. And then a business may also have an industry-specific license. So if your fund is invested in restaurants, that's a highly regulated industry and you may want to step in and ensure that the portfolio companies have a plan in place for keeping good track of those. Relying on the local jurisdictions to send a reminder in the mail is never a good strategy because they don't all send a letter in the mail. And even when they do, I think the past few years have kind of shown us that relying on regular mail, because we were displaced at times working from home, that relying on that as a reminder for anything is definitely not the best practice. So using a registered agent provider, like CSC, who can track the licenses for you, can really be a huge help.
So yeah, this is just a little bit about what we do, researching requirements, preparation and filing of the documents, and then tracking them going forward so that we centralize the storage of the documents and all the key details, especially due date.
Drew: All right. Thanks, Ciela. So getting to the final stage of our fund life cycle is the realization and liquidation. So this is really when the last of the investments are sold and the remaining invested capital is distributed to the investors and the fund entities are dissolved. But sometimes it's not that clean. So often there might be one or two investments left in a fund, where there might be pending litigation or that investment has a few more years of guaranteed cash flows coming in that you don't want to give up as the fund manager. So we do see a lot of fund managers really focus on other options sometimes to keep a fund going to make sure they obtain those types of payouts.
The two main options we see are really creating a continuation fund or transferring the assets to a liquidating trustee. So that's really just a way to kind of focus on the next fund and really harness those resources on the next and future funds on and transferring that operational burden to a liquidating trustee to make sure those final payments and investments that are liquidated are distributed to the investors.
Sticking with our key terms here, in the liquidating trustee space, you'll hear some of these. Resident trustee just fulfills the statutory requirement for the Delaware statutory trust. The liquidating trust, that's just a Delaware resident. Disbursing agent is the one that disburses the cash to the beneficiaries or the investors of the liquidating trust.
An information agent is what provides notices to those beneficiaries or investors. And the liquidating trustee is the "managing" trustee of a liquidating trust in the wind-down of a fund. So those are the common terms you'll hear if you explore that as an option.
So that completes our overview of the fund life cycle and some of the operational things you want to consider across that lifespan. But here at CSC, we really do believe that we have an end-to-end solution and we can really provide a more streamlined and superior solution for middle and back office administrative solutions for fund managers. A lot of times either what you're doing in-house or if you're seeing managing multiple vendors, that means managing multiple relationships, lots of different people and teams and turnover. And we think using a single vendor for a host of different operational burdens can really just help with the vendor management, creating a single source of contact.
And then on the vendor side, it does, I think, eliminate a lot of breaks in workflows, miscommunications that can create errors or delays in fund operations. So having things done by one team under one roof can really streamline operations for funds.
At the center of all this, at the center of our graphic that we've been showing throughout this presentation, fund administration was at the center of it and that's for good reason. I think of all the different things you might need to outsource or work with, the closest relationship will be with probably your fund administrator. There's just so many touchpoints and so many times you need to go to that fund admin to execute a call, a distribution, change reporting, maybe a one-off project from an investor, or a request of that nature. So there's just a lot of touchpoints there.
So at CSC, we really focus on our fund services. It's really across our people, our processes, and our technology. Our staff are ex-CFOs, CFA, CPA experts with decades of experience across private capital funds.
We offer unique customization and brand support. So our reporting is customizable. Our focus is building the fund manager brand, so everything that an investor sees would be that fund manager's brand.
We have that dedicated account team. We have deep investment in technology and continually evaluate what we're using and building out proprietary technologies based on our customer feedback from both fund managers and the investors. So for a fund admin, we really think we offer a great high touch solution to really work with the fund, across its life cycle, with a stable team of experts as it's moving through its transactions.
And, Ciela, I'll leave you with the busy slide here.
Ciela: This slide is a lot to unpack. What I will say about this slide is we do have it in the Resource widget for you to download. We would love for you to have a copy of it.
At the top of the slide, you're seeing some of the common projects that we get involved in assisting with structured and project finance, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy and restructuring, debt capital markets, loan agency, and of course fund services.
So at the bottom is all the services we provide with those types of projects, which you can see is quite a lot. These are services we've been doing for many years. As I mentioned, we've always been in the Delaware trust space since 1899. And in the entity space, which evolved into our special purpose vehicles and fund administration, we've been in the fund administration space for 20 years.
And then, over the summer, acquired PEF Services, with that acquisition double the size of our team. We have so many great, friendly, attention to detail, expert people working in our fund services space, and PEF also had a phenomenal investor portal technology. So we've included in the Resource widget as well as just a two-minute video of the investor portal. So if you want to check that out, please click on that link, and then from that link you can also see some of our other thought leadership papers and other webinars and resources.
And then the last thing I'll say on this I think one thing that really sets us apart is all of our law firm clients, all of our asset manager clients do have a dedicated account manager here that you can go to for any of this work. And as Drew said, we don't pass you around. We're a service company through and through. So you would work with your account manager, and then one expert from the team that, if it's an escrow appointment that you need or a Delaware statutory trust, your account manager will grab one member of that team and you'll work with the two of them to complete the transaction. We do maintain our own KYC database, so we streamline that, and you would work with them for everything from contract review, financial review. KYC, we get it done.