This year Boston Financial has been celebrating its 40th anniversary, not only because we are a long standing joint venture between two great organizations, but because we’ve evolved to become what we believe is the best third party transfer agent in the industry.
Think about it! Forty years ago we began servicing a few large well known mutual fund organizations. Today we still support most of those same fund families, and many more. They may have changed their names, added share classes, or acquired other funds, but we’ve grown together.
I started at Boston Financial in 1981 (of course, I was just a child). Compliance with transfer agent rules, tax laws, and fund requirements was handled primarily in the client operations and control departments. Our procedures incorporated controls to satisfy compliance with the regulations and it was management’s responsibility to provide appropriate oversight of them. Eventually we made a decision to create a separate and distinct compliance department to foster the specific knowledge and expertise needed to support our clients in an increasingly complex regulatory environment.
Today, the industry has more regulatory players, not only the SEC and the IRS, but also FINRA, the CFTC, FinCEN and others. In 2004, SEC Rule 38a-1 required mutual funds to hire chief compliance officers (CCOs) responsible for due diligence and oversight of various entities – the fund, the adviser, the intermediaries, and of course the transfer agent. The expectations and responsibilities of the CCO have expanded over the years and now even include monitoring of risk. They have a daunting task, especially with the movement to omnibus and the lack of transparency.
Boston Financial responded to all of these changes by developing a strong compliance program. To further support the CCOs, we began hosting an Annual CCO Transfer Agency Due Diligence Forum many years ago. This year’s Forum will be held on November 13, providing our clients and their CCOs with an opportunity to network and gain valuable information from our Boston Financial team and invited speakers. The theme, “Leading the Way to Compliance,” reflects our commitment to be in the forefront providing solutions that support the risk management and compliance needs of our clients.
It will be interesting to see what the next 40 years brings from a compliance perspective, but I’m sure Boston Financial will still be partnering with our clients to lead the way!