Cut to the chase
“When we started thinking about fundraising for our eighth investment vehicle, we got concerned about our boutique administrator's ability to maintain the current level of support. Our existing administrator was already at capacity with our other investment vehicles so we decided we needed additional coverage to reduce the risk of falling behind financial and investor reporting deadlines.”
“Finding an administrator you have a good rapport with is so important. Capability is one thing, but at the end of the day, it needs to be a partnership.”
“Having the fund accounting and the client portal all in the same platform makes it a lot easier to pull data from one source versus having to track down a different file that I can’t pull from the system.”
net asset value
KCB Real Estate (“KCB”) is a buy and hold control investor in a wide variety of income-producing property types from core real estate to niche assets such as healthcare, hospitality, and data centers. Their goal is to minimize long-term volatility and achieve superior returns relative to risk by acquiring assets that are driven by varied economic drivers, whether by being in different asset types or different geographies.
KCB’s origins as a family-owned and operated business trace back to the 1940s. When the company was sold in the 1980s, the founders used the proceeds from the sale to begin investing in real estate. Today, KCB’s portfolio contains over $1 billion of real estate assets, including shopping centers, multi-family residential, industrial, office, hospitality, and healthcare facilities.
KCB is in the process of launching its eighth investment vehicle, for which they’re targeting a raise of between $200 million and $300 million.
KCB had used the same boutique fund administrator for its first seven investment vehicles. Although they were satisfied with the administrator’s services, they recognized that their administrator would not be able to keep up with KCB's growth rate and investor demands.
“When we started thinking about fundraising for our eighth investment vehicle, we got concerned about the level of support from our administrator,” said Managing Director Peter Knell. “Our existing administrator was already at capacity with our other investment vehicles, and we were worried that they would not be able to maintain the current response and turnaround time. We needed additional coverage to reduce the risk of falling behind financial and investor reporting deadlines.”
Recognizing the need to diversify their administrative relationships in order to scale, KCB set out to find a new partner to bring onboard.
KCB’s number-one must-have for the new administrator included a larger support team that was readily available when they needed help. “Communication, transparency, and responsiveness,” said Peter, “is what makes for a good working relationship with your fund administrator.”
Secondly, it was important that the new fund administrator used a technology solution that could be integrated seamlessly into their processes and be used to streamline fund accounting. “We wanted to have systems in place that were more automated to reduce the risk of human error,” Peter explained.
Lastly, “Finding an administrator you have a good rapport with is so important,” Peter said. “Capability is one thing, but at the end of the day, it needs to be a partnership.”
“It’s always been a comfort to our LPs to know that there’s a third-party looking at the books. And having one they’ve heard of and trust is a real value-add.”
KCB Real Estate
When asked what advice he would give to other investment firms seeking a third-party fund administrator, Peter stressed the importance of asking the right questions, such as:
Can your software be easily integrated with our existing CRM?
How customizable is your platform?
Do you outsource your software support?
Will support be available to us in our time zone?
What’s the typical turn-around time we can expect for a support request?
Are you investing in future technology upgrades?
How would you describe your company’s vision for the future?
After a rigorous evaluation process, KCB chose Juniper Square—not only because the company ticked off all the required boxes, but also because KCB was already using Juniper Square’s software solution, eliminating the need for a system migration and ensuring data integrity. It made onboarding Juniper Square’s fund administration services much easier and more efficient.
Having the fund accounting and the client portal all in the same platform makes it a lot easier to pull data from one source versus having to track down a different file that I can’t pull from the system.”
While KCB’s partnership with Juniper Square’s fund administration team is still in its early stages, Peter and his team are confident they made the right decision and look forward to a bright future working together. “Juniper Square is in an interesting position,” he said, “they're building out their administration function on top of their technology solution, and this can really transform how things get done."