Conifer Merges With Vastardis, New Fund Administrator To Have $70B AUA

Feb 3 2014 | 10:29am ET

Fund administration firms The Conifer Group and Vastardis Capital Services have signed a definitive merger agreement to combine their respective businesses. The newly formed company, to be called Conifer Financial Services, will be one of the largest independent alternative asset services firms offering expanded capabilities to clients on a global scale. At inception, Conifer Financial Services will have combined assets under administration of more than $70 billion and offer trade execution services to over 200 clients worldwide.

Jack McDonald, currently chief executive officer of Conifer Group, will become president and CEO. William Vastardis, founder and president of Vastardis, will be named chairman.

The merger brings together Conifer's clients in the hedge fund industry with Vastardis' clients in the fund of fund, endowment/foundation, private equity, and venture capital spaces. It also increases the scale and scope of services that both Conifer and Vastardis will be able to provide their clients, creating a larger global footprint with offices in San Francisco, New York, the British Virgin Islands, Singapore, and Toronto.

"Combining our two firms will yield significant benefits for our clients and employees and allows us to realize scale in an industry that increasingly demands it," said McDonald. "The Conifer and Vastardis teams will continue to serve their clients seamlessly while augmenting our sophisticated technology and service offerings."  

Conifer Financial Services will be headquartered in San Francisco, with plans underway to combine their respective New York and San Francisco locations. Clients will continue to be served by their current client service teams, and there will be no immediate change to the respective "front end" reporting systems.

The merger is expected to close at the end of the first quarter of 2014, following regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

"We are extremely excited to be joining with Jack and the Conifer team to create a larger and more global, independent fund administrator that will serve a variety of alternative asset management clients and institutional investors," said Vastardis. "The newly formed firm will provide us with a tremendous platform to grow our business around the world, as well as give employees more opportunities for professional development and cross-training into new product areas."

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