Fund Distribution Services Adopted by Law Firms
Contributed by Finscoms
04 July, 2017
Fund Lawyer's provide 'traditional' legal services to the Fund or should they expand their range of services to assist a Fund in its route to the investor and/or Fund Distribution?
This subject is often discussed by fund lawyers 'how do the accountancy firms offer legal, advisory, and more recently fund distribution services to their fund clients?'. Many fund lawyers are keen to roll out additional services moving away from the 'traditional legal services model'. We work with a number of law firms, some on a white label basis, to help them serve clients better, and increase revenue.
Why should the Accountants have all the fun?
The fund lawyer's role has remained very traditional, providing legal services from a fund structure to regulatory and compliance related work. If a fund for example goes through the process of setting up a fund with the fund lawyer, inevitably this fund on being launched is left to its own devices, the relationship with the fund in a way ceases. How can and/or should the fund lawyer advise assist the fund after launch?
Fund lawyers today operate in a both the traditional and digital environs, fund lawyers should show equally that they understand how to operate in these environs, this should be reflected in their marketing, create that all important first impression. Successful fund lawyers require a different set of marketing rules, often the central marketing resource doesn't understand the terminology (UCITS, ICAV's, KIID, NAV, ETF etc). That the fund lawyer is understanding of the traditional and digital world, to the traditionalist and the next generation coming through all using smart phones alike.
How does the Fund lawyer decide how better to service their fund clients, or to remain a traditional provider of legal services only. Our research has shown that fund lawyers who remain traditionally legal service providers are competing not only with the accountancy firms, but also with the fund lawyers that have and are expanding their range of services to their clients. Funds today require so much more than legal services, should the fund lawyer remain on the fence, risk being left behind by the accountants and the evolving fund lawyer.
Cue Finscoms, we work with the fund lawyer to either implement effective niche fund marketing to promote the fund lawyer, their practice area, and to work with the fund lawyer often on a white label basis, to identify and implement additional services to their fund clients. We are in the main looking at small to medium sized funds, the larger funds require different advisory services.
What kind of services can the fund lawyer offer without going into unknown territory, or expose the firm to risk?
The design of legal documents such as a KIID, Nav, or Fund prospectus, are traditionally very plain, lack colour, are fairly indigestible, we work with the fund lawyer often on a white label basis, to ensure the fund receives their legal documents that present the fund in the best possible way all in line with regulatory and compliance. Add to this the design of factsheets, there are immediate gains for the fund lawyer to expand this area of service.
What are the other areas?
We create with the fund lawyer a 'fund start pack', in addition to the legal services that the fund lawyer offers to the fund, now we can add extra services to assist the fund in its marketing and distribution, ultimately to raise capital. Funds today are window shopping, by expanding some of of your traditional service, this is looked favourably by funds, and helps to narrow the choices faced by a fund when instructing fund lawyer.
The services within fund distribution, fund marketing, and fund communications range from design of marketing materials, building websites (which need to be checked from a regulatory & compliance perspective, disclaimers added and so forth), to social media, content marketing, to a fund prospectus video. Some of these areas Fund lawyers are not comfortable with, but are happy to support their fund clients by referring the fund to us.
We service the fund, maintain the relationship the fund has with the fund lawyer.
Why not contact us to explore further the idea of how to service your clients, the potential that exists if you expand or discuss options to move on from offering traditionally legal services to servicing a client in a digital environ, not to mention additional revenue growth and long lasting relationships with your clients.
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