In the wake of recent regulatory challenges in the mutual fund industry, the very relationship between fund companies and their transfer agents has begun to change. Transfer agents today have expanded their role to reflect the growing need in the industry for thought leadership and consultative servicing. While technology and shareholder servicing remain at the cornerstone of the transfer agency offering, fund companies should expect this added value from their transfer agents to complement their focus on regulatory requirements and changing markets.
As financial-services professionals caught in a quarterly paradigm of analyst assessments and product development schedules, we as an industry often find it difficult to look much further than three to six months down the road. In these uncertain times, however, management companies need to focus even more on strategies to gain a competitive edge in the market. They should rely on their transfer agents to provide regulatory consulting and technology tools, and to work collaboratively with them to anticipate the challenges of tomorrow.