Regulation prompts Deutsche fund admin arm sell-off

The German bank has sold its alternative fund services unit to Apex, a global fund administration firm.

Deutsche Bank has sold its alternative fund services unit to Apex Fund Services, the third recent deal struck by the bank after its recent business review.

“In the current regulatory environment, it was decided that the alternative fund service business was better off owned by a specialist in the industry,” a spokesman for Deutsche Bank told pfm.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, according to a statement. No purchase price was announced, but the unit’s assets under administration are valued at $170 billion, bringing Apex’s total assets under administration to $300 billion.

The DB AFS business has offices in Ireland, Luxembourg, the UK, the Cayman Islands, USA, India, Mauritius and Singapore. Apex already has offices in all of these countries, with 35 offices globally.

“We will transition the AFS team over to Apex and will be bringing all their staff into the Apex brand including their senior management. AFS will add depositary services and fund of funds custody to the Apex service offering,” a spokeswoman for Apex said.

In September, the bank sold its corporate services unit, which included a private equity and real estate fund services business, to Vistra, another global administrator. In the same month, the bank announced the sale of its US Private Equity Access Fund Platform of 33 funds, worth $2.5 billion, to iCapital Network, a US-based platform which opens alternative assets to high-net-worth individuals, as reported by pfm.

The acquisition is in turn Apex’s second of the year, following its purchase of rival Equinox, in May.

It is part of a wider consolidation push by fund administration firms that has emerged over the past two years. There have been 22 acquisitions since January 2016.