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Second look: Gen II’s purchase of QLS

by Alice Murray 24 July 2019

Last week, fund administrator Gen II announced its acquisition of Quilvest Luxembourg Fund Services.

On the surface, the deal looked to be another notch in the long list of fund admin deals over recent years.

However, on closer inspection, this acquisition – Gen II’s first ever – appears to be driven by far nobler motivations: namely expanding its service into Europe.

The Drawdown caught up with Gen II’s founder Norman Leben to find out more.

“We have clients that have raised funds in Europe, and who will continue to do so. Given the European regulatory regime, namely AIFMD, we wanted to be in a position to service not just the domestic needs of our clients, but also their European service requirements,” explained Leben.

“Quilvest has a great reputation. We felt the business culture and the assembled talent will make the acquisition an excellent opportunity and fit for us,” he added.

When quizzed about how the deal stacks up against how Gen II’s peers have been using the M&A market recently – essentially buying up fund administrators in order to boost revenue and client numbers – Leben responded: “We have the leading reputation in the US, to date all of our growth has been organic; we execute at the highest levels. We felt that the right strategy was to be less focused on financial engineering, and more focused on finding a quality platform that we can enhance to best service our clients’ needs.”

Indeed, QLS is essentially a captive of Quilvest, which would mean an extremely limited client base at the point of the acquisition.

“Ultimately this is about being able to provide our clients with an extension of the quality service experience they have come to expect from Gen II,” concluded Leben.

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