NEW YORK: Bermuda-based alternative fund administrator Butterfield Fulcrum has selected Kwittken & Company (KCO) as its global AOR following a competitive search. Work began on July 1.
Sheona Griffiths, Butterfield Fulcrum's director of marketing, would not discuss the other firms that were considered, only saying that it was a “five-way pitch, including Kwittken.” An RFP was issued in May. She would not discuss the value of the account.
Butterfield Fulcrum previously employed New York-based LJO Associates as AOR from 2004 to June of this year. Butterfield Fulcrum was formed as the result of a merger of Butterfield Fund Services and Fulcrum Group in September 2008.
LJO played a significant role in a number of business developments, including the merger, the firm's president and CEO, Lisa Jane O'Neil, wrote in an e-mail. Griffiths agreed, saying Butterfield Fulcrum sought a new AOR because it “wanted a more generalist agency to reposition the new brand” post-merger.
“Following the merger, we're a very different animal,” said Griffiths. Moreover, she said, the industry landscape has changed in light of the billion-dollar Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Previously, fund managers would do most of the due diligence for a fund administrator. Now, more investors are doing their own due diligence, she explained.
“It's perception-oriented,” Griffiths said. “You need to be seen everywhere and quoted everywhere.”
KCO will help position Butterfield Fulcrum as a prominent fund administrator in the alternative investment industry and a thought leader in the areas of transparency and financial technology. The firm has helped to organize a New York media tour in mid-August for Butterfield Fulcrum's CEO, Akshaya Bhargava.
KCO will execute social media and traditional media relations programs. The firm will reach out to financial trade outlets, such as Hedge Fund Alert and financial technology trade Wall Street & Technology, and mainstream business outlets such as Fortune, BusinessWeek, and The Wall Street Journal.
“We want to be a part of the conversation bridging the transparency divide,” said Jim Gorman, MD and head of the financial services practice at KCO.