Ultimus Hires a Doctor for Those Middle Office Pains
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Ultimus Hires a Doctor for Those Middle Office Pains

Ultimus Fund Solutions has hired Gary Tenkman, formerly the head of Citi's Hedge Fund Services business, to lead its expansion into middle office work. Ultimus already assists mutual fund companies and advisors with back office needs, such as administration, accounting, distribution, transfer agency services and the like. The firm decided a year ago to start working with clients on middle office tasks, such as trading, compliance and investor communication as well and brought Tenkman in to help with the effort.

Bob Dorsey, co-founder and managing director at Ultimus, said many of the firm's clients run private funds as well, and middle office issues might be harder there. A mutual fund would have one custodian, for example, whereas a hedge fund could have 20 different separate accounts where the money is custodied with different banks, so clients may need more assistance there, or with the preparation of their investor communication, Dorsey explained.

"The middle office is a pain point for a lot of advisors, " Dorsey said. "We're talking to a lot of our clients, who say, 'yes, we have these pain points,' so we've been talking about what works, what doesn't work and how we can help," he added. Ultimus has 30 clients and the firm's executives have already been in talks with many who are interested in middle office help as well.

Tenkman will now be tasked with drafting a strategic business plan for Ultimus that will involve deciding which middle office tasks Ultimus will take on and how. Dorsey said this will likely lead to hiring more people or acquiring a team in the business. "We'll be looking at whether it makes sense to build or buy that expertise," Dorsey said.

Tenkman was managing director and Head of Hedge Fund Service Operations at Citi since April 2013 and has held a variety of senior roles at Citi since 2007. He left the bank in February. He'll be moving to Cincinnati from New Jersey for the role at Ultimus.

At Citi, he was replaced internally by a senior member of the team, a Citi spokeswoman said. She declined to name the person.

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