Client relationship management is key to Allfunds’ expansion

Leveraging client relationships into faster growth is the objective of Madrid based Allfunds Bank, says Borja Largo, director of global partnerships.

Managing relationships and keeping 350 institutional clients updated with the company’s international strategy can be challenging for a funds platform headquartered in Madrid, Spain, especially given the strong competition in the space.

But in recent months, Allfunds Bank has been growing steadily, reaching about €72.6bn under intermediation in August. The strategy of the company remains ambitious both in terms of business development and international expansion.

To coordinate the push towards new markets, Allfunds Bank recently promoted Borja Largo (pictured) from director of investments to director of global partnerships, responsible for managing global relationships with the bank’s largest fund managers.

Business model

Founded in 2000 and jointly owned by the Santander and Intesa San Paolo banking groups, Allfunds Bank delivers open-architecture investment fund solutions and research capabilities, mainly to institutional clients.

Largo has been involved in the project since the group was founded in 2000, and he has also been chief executive at Allfunds Alternative, the subsidiary of Allfunds Bank dedicated to institutional services of advisory of fund of hedge funds.

He says: “To understand my role, it’s important to get a picture of our business model. We are a global company that happens to be headquartered in Madrid. Only 30% of the business comes from the Spanish market, while less than half of it comes from Italy. The UK represents 15% and Middle East, Africa and Latin America the remaining 10%.”

The international expansion of the platform throughout Europe and beyond accelerated in 2008 with the launch of offices in Luxemburg and Dubai. Allfunds opened in Luxemburg in 2008 and landed in Dubai in September 2011(see timeline, opposite page).

Largo confirms that operations in Middle East and Africa have been growing steadily. He says: “We are having a sweet moment in terms of asset flows. The increase in assets under intermediation, which has been steady on a daily basis over the last months, is driving us towards internationalisation and global reach, and changing some of the dynamics that we have established with clients.”

This change is driven by Largo in his new role, which is not about business development but about managing relationships with asset managers, advising them on clients’ needs and their appetites.

“Asset managers have a very high standard and we have to make sure that we comply with rules of the jurisdictions in which our clients operate,” he says. “The definition of a client itself can be very different.

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