Easier onboarding: What to look for in an administrator

April 07, 2021

In theory, onboarding seems like it should be a simple, straightforward formality. But in practice, the process can be a lot bumpier. For a smooth, streamlined experience, look for a partner with these five qualities.


Stories have emerged in the media recently about the difficulties some funds experience when transitioning accounts to new administrators. Unfortunately, headaches like these are all too common – as anyone who’s spent months organizing meetings, redlining agreements and collecting contract signatures can attest.

When administrators fail to give onboarding the priority and investment it deserves, inefficiencies and client frustration are often the result.

For a smooth, seamless process, you need a partner that understands the importance of onboarding and invests in the technology and expertise it takes to do it well. Here are five attributes you should look for in an administrator that indicate proficiency. 


1. An ongoing commitment to technology innovation

We live in a digital age, so you might be surprised how many administrators still rely on manual processes for many onboarding tasks. Obviously, this can introduce potential errors, inefficiencies and complications.

A technology-focused provider will maintain a sophisticated framework to check, monitor, and assess risk during the onboarding process in an efficient fashion. They’re able to examine potential client pain points and develop flexible solutions that adapt as needs evolve while remaining compliant with policies and regulations. This can produce faster turnarounds and smoother interaction overall. 


2. An automated digital platform

You need an administrator that’s willing to invest in automated, integrated data platforms – even if those systems operate behind the scenes and aren’t necessarily client facing. Investment in technology indicates that client service is a real priority and not just a marketing talking point.

As an example, at U.S. Bank we recently enhanced our Fund Services Account Opening (FSAO) platform to ensure our clients have the best possible experience. The digitized system enables us to provide solutions uniquely customized to each client’s needs – fully aligned with their specific milestones and requirements.

“FSAO enables system integration and streamlines data collection, which helps ensure its accuracy,” says Tina LaMar, vice president and senior digital project manager for U.S. Bank Investment Services. “CRM integration, for example, thoroughly and accurately captures product and service details so we can tailor onboarding workflows for clients based on their specific funds and service needs.”

FSAO also captures unique data points and shares this information in a transparent fashion so clients aren’t requested to provide the same information multiple times.


3. Multiple levels of client support

Different clients require different levels of guidance and support. Some prefer a do-it-yourself approach, and others want more involved, hands-on assistance. At U.S. Bank, our onboarding platform will enable us, to provide a flexible, full-spectrum support model adaptable to every client’s unique working style.

  • Do it yourself (DIY): The client handles the task on their own and at their own pace, and we provide assistance only when requested. 
  • Do it together (DIT): We provide assistance and support to the client and work through the task together. 
  • Do it for me (DIFM): We handle the task on behalf of the client and reach out to them for information as needed.


4. Breadth of experience and infrastructure

A tenured team understands exactly what regulatory and internal-policy-required documentation they need for know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. Obtaining everything upfront, at the start of the process, reduces inefficient back-and-forth requests that add work and place additional demands on your time.

“By choosing an organization with broad resources and a global infrastructure, you can expect streamlined processes and a standardized approach to onboarding,” says Jessica Behrendt, senior vice president and relationship manager for U.S. Bank Global Fund Services. “A trusted service partner has systems in place to adhere to standards and capture all requirements. This gives you confidence you’re benefiting from those standards as well.”


5. An obvious desire for client service excellence

Find a provider that prioritizes the client experience, and you can rest assured they’ll do everything in their power to make onboarding as smooth and seamless as possible. Look for a team that’s accessible, available and adaptable – but that also has the infrastructure, technology and expertise to support their commitment to your needs.

It’s important to remember that onboarding isn’t just a one-time event. You’ll likely continue to add new products and services in the future as you grow your business, so look for a partner with technology, like FSAO, that can keep up. In short, you want an administrator who won't let anything compromise the client experience. When your satisfaction is their driving motivational force, they’ll find specialized ways to meet your needs – no matter what.

Whether you’re working with an administrator currently or searching for new one, it’s important to understand their onboarding approach. Asking the right questions early on could help you avoid a myriad of complications down the road. 


Learn how we can help you with your fund servicing needs. Visit us at usbank.com/globalfundservices. 

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U.S. Bank Global Fund Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bank, N. A.

U.S. Bank Global Fund Services (Ireland) Limited is registered in Ireland, Company Number 413707. Registered Office at 24 - 26 City Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland. Directors: Linda Gorman, Rose Clear, Brett Meili (USA), Joe Neuberger (USA), Padraic O'Connor, Christine Waldron (USA). U.S. Bank Global Fund Services (Ireland) Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

U.S. Bank Global Fund Services (Guernsey) Limited is licensed under the Protection of Investors Law (Bailiwick of Guernsey), 1987, as amended by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission to conduct controlled investment business in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

U.S. Bank Global Fund Services (Luxembourg) S.a.r.l. is registered in Luxembourg with RCS number B238278 and Registered Office: Floor 3, K2 Ballade, 4, rue Albert Borschette, L-1246 Luxembourg. U.S. Bank Global Fund Services (Luxembourg) S.a.r.l. is authorised and regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier.

Investment products and services are:


U.S. Bank does not guarantee products, services or performance of its affiliates and third-party providers.

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