Consolidation Of Offshore Service Providers
By way of introduction, Foord Asset Management (Guernsey) Limited established the Foord International Trust (FIT) in Guernsey in 1997. In 2012, Foord Asset Management (Singapore) Pte. Ltd was established as an investment research office and launched the Foord Global Equity Fund (FGEF) in Singapore. Foord Asset Management (Foord) then mirrored the FIT and FGEF investment strategies in two UCITS-compliant sub-funds of Foord Sicav in Luxembourg, Europe’s leading cross-border funds market. Unlike FIT and FGEF, these UCITS Funds are eligible for distribution in all EU markets.
The unintended consequence of these developments is that common investors in all three offshore jurisdictions interface with three different service providers and there is no consolidated investor reporting. We have, therefore, for some time sought a partner capable of jointly administering all four funds across the three jurisdictions to enhance investor experience and improve operational efficiency.
After extensive due diligence, Foord’s executive team approved the consolidation of service providers to the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Consequently, from 1 July 2017, RBC will be the single custodian bank, transfer agent and fund administrator to Foord’s offshore funds. We chose RBC for its position as Canada’s largest bank and a top-ten service provider in Luxembourg, as well as for its operations in Guernsey and Singapore.
Overview of Changes
We detail below at a high-level how this change will affect you after 1 July 2017. Further detailed correspondence will follow in due course.
1. Global Distributor
Foord Asset Management (Guernsey) Limited will act as the global distributor for all Foord’s global funds, including FGEF. Centralising the global distributor function within one entity creates the framework for the operational enhancements described in this letter.
2. RBC as Consolidated Registrar and Transfer Agent
Retail investors will submit all investment transactions for all portfolios to RBC, using a single set of communication addresses (whether by e-mail, fax or post). Accordingly, Foord has devised a single set of transaction forms for this purpose, which will list all applicable funds in all three jurisdictions on a single form. Institutional investors must deal by fax or Swift. Investors will be able to contact Foord in Cape Town or Singapore, or RBC in Luxembourg, for transaction support.
RBC’s Channel Islands subsidiary, Royal Bank of Canada (Channel Islands) Limited, continues in the role of Trustee for FIT. From 1 July 2017, RBC Investor Services Trust Singapore Limited replaces Portcullis Trust (Singapore) Ltd as the Trustee for FGEF.
4. Revised Prospectuses
The funds’ prospectuses, updated to reflect the changes associated with the migration of service providers, will be registered with the respective regulators and will be made available on www.foord.com as soon as possible on or after 3 July 2017.
5. Single Collections Bank Account
To streamline the investor onboarding process, Foord will maintain a single set of collections bank accounts with RBC (in US dollars, Singapore dollars, euro and sterling) to receive investor monies for all funds, irrespective of their jurisdiction. Accordingly, investors will be able to submit a single transaction form, and make a single payment, for a concurrent investment in two or more Foord international portfolios.
6. Consolidated Investor Reporting
After the migration date of 1 July 2017, investors in Foord’s international funds will receive a single, consolidated investment statement reflecting holdings and values across all portfolios. This will necessitate a change in all investor and account numbers previously maintained by each separate registrar and transfer agent. These new account numbers will be reported to you in a statement run conducted by RBC on or after 3 July 2017 and you should then quote these numbers in all future correspondence.
7. Online Investor Portal
Access to the Foord-branded online investor portals provided by JTC in Guernsey and Fund BPO in Singapore will cease on 30 June 2017. Consolidated online investor reporting will be made available by RBC on application / registration by each investor – we regret the inconvenience and disruption this may cause investors. RBC’s enhanced online investor portal, earmarked for 2018, will feature much-improved aesthetics and on-line transaction functionality and we look forward to its speedy release.
8. E-mail Communications and Transactions
Investment instructions completed on approved Foord transaction forms may be faxed, e-mailed or submitted by Swift, as applicable, to RBC as registrar and transfer agent. However, the original application forms and supporting documents must then be posted to RBC or delivered to Foord in Cape Town or Singapore for onward submission. By law, redemption monies will only be paid on receipt of the original redemption forms and accordingly these must be speedily submitted.
Foord has requested RBC to e-mail, rather than post or fax, statements of account, contract notes and other investor communications to investors on the e-mail addresses maintained on file. However, e-mail communications carry specific interception and confidentiality risks. If you do not accept the risks associated with e-mail communication and therefore do not wish to receive e-mailed communications from RBC, please advise Foord by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning Foord in Cape Town on +27 (0)21 532 6969 or Singapore on +65 6521 1100 before 23 June 2017.
9. Dealing Arrangements During Migration to RBC
Investors should continue to send redemption and subscription requests to the current service providers until 28 June 2017. Redemption and subscription requests received by JTC, FundBPO and Credit Suisse before the ruling cut-off times on 28 June 2017 will be accepted and settled by the existing service providers.
Dealing will be suspended on 29 and 30 June 2017.
Subscription and redemption requests received by JTC, FundBPO and Credit Suisse after the respective cut-off times on 28 June 2017 until 30 June 2017 midnight, will be forwarded to RBC. RBC will process these requests as of Monday, 3 July 2017.
Subscription and redemption requests received by existing service providers after midnight on 30 June 2017 will not be accepted. Investors will be invited to resend their dealing requests to RBC.
10. Change in Dealing Cut-off Time
From 1 July 2017, the cut-off time for transaction instructions will change to an effective 16h00 Central European Time for all portfolios (each prospectus will reflect the cut-off time in local equivalent time).
11. Migration Hotline
Foord has set up a toll-free hotline to assist with investor queries before, during and after the service provider migration. Investors can access the international toll-free number on +800 6521 1100 after dialling out of their home country (for example, in South Africa investors should dial “00” first). This hotline will operate during office hours in Singapore and South Africa from 19 June until 14 July.
12. Approval by Regulators
In Guernsey, the change of administrator from JTC Fund Solutions (Guernsey) Limited to RBC Offshore Fund Managers Limited remains subject to the approval of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC). The GFSC has been apprised of the change and the directors of Foord Asset Management (Guernsey) Limited do not expect this approval to be withheld.
Detailed information on the migration will be provided to investors in the coming weeks. Information will also be posted to Foord’s websites www.foord.co.za and www.foord.com. Please look out for these supplementary communications.
We look forward to a smooth migration and to investors experiencing positively the single interface, consolidated reporting and best-of breed service after 1 July 2017. However, we kindly request your patience and understanding in the event of any technical complications. You have our commitment to expediently resolve any unforeseen issues.