Monday, 15 November 2010

Month-end mayhem at every Hedge Fund Administrator

A large part of my experience is from Hedge Fund Administration. Every month my teams of Fund Accountants would work diligently to try and prepare for that first crazy week after month end.
Funds would be reconciled. Fees would be posted. Expenses analysed. Everything would be booked until the day before month end and we would go home for an early night. On the first of the month itself we'd all troop in early, eager to get started on the previous month end valuation.

And it was always the same every time - absolute mayhem!

The reason I got married mid-month is because I simply could be out for that week after month end - not for holidays, weddings, births (well ok maybe for your first baby - just this once!). The period was too fraught with potential problems and issues that would need immediate decisions - about both funds valuation and accounting. I've often thought Managers looking to learn the art of crisis-management would do well to spend that first week of a new month at a Hedge Fund Administrators (don't get me started about the first week of January!).
By day two of the month the clients in London/NYC are barking down the line looking for the NAV to give to their investors. We'll all need to reconcile with each other but there is still a $2 million break in the cash we just can't find - and it goes without saying it’s our fault!

But hey you know what? Its only 12 bps on the fund. Often we could turn around and utter (besides "are you SURE you sent us all the trades?) every Fund Accountants favourite word - don't word guys its "immaterial".

I always slept like the dead the first weekend of each new month. Satisfied but exhausted.

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