Maples Fund Services Launches Marketplace Lending Solution

Nov 17 2016 | 8:07pm ET

Fund administrator Maples Fund Services has extended its product offerings to include the rapidly growing peer-to-peer lending sector. 

Also known as marketplace lending, the sector encompasses a wide scope of lenders, including individuals and traditional financial intermediaries and institutions. It has gained popularity in recent years as increased regulation and tightening credit conditions have reduced the willingness of traditional banks to lend, thus forcing borrowers to seek out alternative channels, Maples said. 

At the same time, the demand for fixed income options in the current market environment have brought hedge funds into the sector in search of high risk-adjusted yield, facilitating the introduction of institutional investors to this space. 

"What began as a niche investment opportunity for individuals to lend to each other with modest infrastructure has become increasingly institutionalized," said Tyler Kim, global head of Maples Fund Services. "However, hurdles still stand in the way for fund managers who may not understand the operational difficulty of investing in this asset class."

Marketplace lending funds are often comprised of thousands of individual deals, each with specific terms and performance that turnover frequently, Maples explained. Current practices in recordkeeping account for the value of aggregated assets, but true operational integrity can only be achieved through loan-level recordkeeping - an arduous task based on the sheer volume of individual loans that compose these marketplace lending funds.

As the industry matures and more funds enter the space, third-party valuations and reconciliation of books and records will be crucial to attracting new sources of capital. Acknowledging this, Maples Fund Services has made significant investments in its technology to offer loan level administration and the intuitive risk and performance reports that sophisticated institutional investors demand. 

The company’s customized solutions for marketplace lending funds introduce a level of independence in asset verification and valuation and ensure data integrity. By assuming certain administrative tasks – such as platform and custodian reconciliations, interest accruals, principal repayments, default monitoring and accounting for late payment penalties – Maples Fund Services streamlines the internal operations of marketplace lending fund managers so they can focus on investment decision making. 

"Maples Fund Services has extended its reputation for delivering innovative technology solutions and industry best practices to the marketplace lending sector," added Scott Somerville, MaplesFS' CEO. "We hope to set a new standard for marketplace lending fund administration solutions that will enable institutional investors to allocate capital to this asset class with confidence."

Maples Fund Services is a division of MaplesFS, which along with subsidiaries Maples Fiduciary and Maples Private Client Services, provides specialized fiduciary, fund administration, accounting, entity formation, management and trust, and private client services around the world for alternative investment management firms, institutional investors, pension plans and global financial institutions. The company has offices across the globe, including Boston, the Cayman Islands, Dubai, Dublin, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Montreal, New York, San Francisco and Singapore.

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