The Hedge Funds Club’s Stefan Nilsson caught up with Wout Kalis, the newly appointed Head of Asia for Broadridge Asset Management Solutions, to talk about building a successful business in APAC, key segments within asset management and serving both small and large fund managers.
Wout Kalis, who joined Broadridge in February, was most recently Managing Director of Alternative Investment Services APAC at BNY Mellon. Previously, he has worked at SS&C GlobeOp, Citi, HSBC and Citco.
You have a long career in finance. What made you join Broadridge now as its Head of Asia Pacific for Broadridge Asset Management Solutions?
The asset management industry has experienced enormous growth over the last 10-15 years and the industry has been trying to keep up with this rapid expansion. During this period of growth, inefficiencies in processes were not prioritised meaning there is now a massive opportunity to address these. With an increased focus on data and computing power, there are now big improvements to be made and Broadridge is perfectly positioned to capitalise on this growth. Additionally, Broadridge’s APAC footprint is relatively small compared to in the US, but Asia is a big focus for Broadridge and I really like to build businesses in the region and have proven experience in doing this.
What skills, experiences and connections do you bring to your new job that will help you succeed?
I have a proven track record of building and growing successful businesses in Asia. One of the success factors is having a great team, and I think people in my previous teams will agree that I can build out good and strong performing teams. Some teams, like the middle office team and the first private credit/loan middle office team in Asia, are specific segments that Broadridge products focus on. Naturally, my 16 years in Asia have resulted in me having a strong network in the asset manager and alternative manager space.
Asset management is a wide-ranging industry with many different niches. Which areas within asset management are Broadridge focusing on primarily in APAC?
Broadridge Asset Management Solutions has a few specific solutions to offer. Sentry, our front-to-back system for managing credit and loan products, is being used by several of the largest credit and CLO managers in the world, including the largest player in Asia. We hope to continue to increase our footprint in Asia with this product. Our Broadridge Investment Management Solutions (formerly Paladyne) product is an integrated OMS and PMS for hedge funds, family offices and traditional asset managers. We already have a large client base in APAC ranging from simple traditional asset managers and small family offices to large multi-strategy managers and large complex pension funds. We have recently had some good wins and implementations and plan to continue to build on that momentum and get more traction as it is a really good and complete product. Broadridge’s Private Market Hub is focused on digitising the private market space, from raising capital to actual investment. We work together with administrators, GPs and LPs to improve their current highly manual and paper-driven workflows. And last but not least, Broadridge would like to focus on our business process outsourcing services that allow us to scale quickly by utilising our deep operational expertise across a client’s organisation.
Which geographic areas are your priorities in APAC right now?
In APAC of course the usual suspects are HK, Singapore, Japan and Australia as this is where the large and established asset management firms are based, but our solutions are also fit for the asset managers in more emerging markets. We hope to leverage the larger Broadridge network that already has relationships with these potential clients with some of Broadridge’s products such as our reconciliation solutions.
In APAC, especially in the alternative investment area, many fund managers are managing smaller AUMs. Are emerging, up-and-coming alternative investment fund managers something Broadridge can serve well or is there more of a focus on fund managers with bigger AUM?
Broadridge provides scalable solutions, so, yes, we do cater to emerging and up-and-coming alternative funds because we provide a leading “out of the box” solution. In a continued technological evolution, firms are looking for a technology solution that can integrate into their existing solutions with ease and grow to scale with their capabilities. The importance of a single solution product that enables firms to build on the “Lego blocks” of their technology stack, creating a bespoke solution that meets individual firm and client needs.