European platform Allfunds Bank has signed a deal with US clearing firm INTL FCStone Financial, in a move that will make thousands of Ucits funds available to the American firm’s offshore advisor and broker clients.
The deal will give advisors using INTL FCStone Financial access to the Ucits funds without having to sign individual contracts with each strategies' manager or distributor, as the agreements are already in place with Allfunds. INTL FCStone Financial is the first US-based clearing firm with access to the Allfunds platform, it said in a statement.
It began clearing for non-US wealth firms as well as US advisors with international accounts in November 2016 after its Fortune 500 parent company INTL FCStone Inc acquired Sterne Agee in August that same year.
Allfunds is the largest fund platform in Europe and offers access to more than 57,000 funds from over 1,200 fund managers. It allows advisors to open accounts and invest client money in funds without having to involve the actual fund manager or distributor offering the strategy.
Citywire Americas first reported in May 2017 that the European firm was looking for a partner to expand into US offshore, with a particular focus on the Miami market.
The agreement between the two firms was finalized in December 2017 and went live in late January.
‘We are very excited about our relationship with INTL FCStone,’ said Laura Gonzalez, Allfunds regional manager, Iberia and Americas. ‘We believe financial distributors will benefit from a streamlined access to international investment products, thanks to this unique joint-offering from Allfunds and INTL FCStone Financial.’
Allfunds declined to comment on whether it is seeking further partnerships in the US.
Roger Shaffer, managing director, correspondent clearing at INTL FCStone, said: ‘We are proud to be the only US-based clearing firm with access to their platform… Our relationship with Allfunds underscores our commitment to servicing the offshore wealth management market.’
According to Shaffer, the firm has around 55 advice firms or broker-dealers who use it for clearing and about 14 of those have international client exposure. He added that about 80% of those to have onboarded in the last sixth months have a Latin America focus.
INTL FCStone, which has a sizeable institutional business that focuses on commodity trading, has offices in Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay and Mexico.
The firm is looking to win small and medium-sized firms that might get rejected from clearing shops such as Pershing, Raymond James or Fidelity due to restrictions on account sizes or client domicile, according to Shaffer.
‘As a middle market firm we can be a lot more flexible because we can make a smaller account more profitable for us and for our introducing brokers,’ he said.