PE Buys and Combines Two MF Servicers
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Monday, November 19, 2018

PE Buys and Combines Two MF Servicers

A private equity firm is buying two mutual fund administration shops and combining them.

Collin E. Roche
Managing Director
In two separate deals, Chicago-based GTCR has agreed to buy Cincinnati-based Ultimus Fund Solutions and the Hauppauge, New York-based Gemini Companies (which includes Northern Lights), GTCR managing director Collin Roche confirms today. The two firms have more than 500 employees combined, and together they work with more than $150 billion in AUA and support more than 840 funds (through both series trusts and standalone trusts).

Gary Tenkman
Ultimus Fund Solutions
Pricing and terms of the deals were not disclosed. The deals are expected to close in Q1 2019. Broadhaven Capital Partners advised GTCR on the deal, and Raymond James advised Gemini.

Ultimus is currently owned by management, with Philadelphia-based private equity firm LLR Partners holding a minority stake since 2012. Gemini is currently part of Omaha, Nebraska-based NorthStar Financial Group, which in turn has been majority-owned by Boston-based private equity firm TA Associates since 2015.

Kevin E. Wolf
The Gemini Companies
Jon Baum, executive chair of NorthStar, did not immediately return a call for comment. Roy Burns, managing director at TA, did not immediately return a call for comment. Michell Hollin, partner at LLR, did not immediately return a call for comment.

Ultimus' new president Gary Tenkman will become CEO of the combined company, which will use the Ultimus Fund Solutions brand, and Gemini president Kevin Wolf will stay in a senior role. Gemini CEO Kevin Hesselbirg will retire and join the combined firm's board. And Ultimus founders and co-CEOs Bob Dorsey and Mark Seger will stay on as vice chairmen of the combined firm.

Robert George Dorsey
Ultimus Fund Solutions
Co-CEO, Co-Founder
Once the deals close, GTCR will be the majority shareholder of the combined Ultimus Fund Solutions, and other shareholders will include Dorsey, Seger, and Tenkman.

"Management on both sides will be invested, as will be GTCR," GTCR's Roche confirms.

"We like the end market," Roche tells MFWire. "We like the opportunity to service fund complexes to provide administration services of various sorts."

Mark Joseph Seger
Ultimus Fund Solutions
Co-CEO, Co-Founder
"As a united, larger independent institutional strength firm, we will be able to deliver enhanced scale and deeper capabilities with boutique service levels to our combined client base," Ultimus' Tenkman states.

Gemini's Hesselbirg, for his part, describes the deals as "the next phase in [Gemini's] mission to enable entrepreneurial managers and advisors to deliver new strategies and products to market supported by technology-driven solutions and world-class service." Similarly, Dorsey and Seger describe the deals as "an evolution for Ultimus," one that brings "increased scale and broadened product capabilities."

Kevin J. Hesselbirg
The Gemini Companies
Mike Hollander, a principal at GTCR, describes the Ultimus and Gemini teams as having "a shared perspective and unrelenting commitment to their mutual fund, hedge fund, private equity, and other customers."

"I'm excited about being the largest independent administrator in the U.S. and having great solutions to go to market with," Tenkman tells MFWire.

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