Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP - Best North American Accounting Firm
Six time Best Global Accounting Firm, Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP is also being honoured with this year's Best North American Accounting Firm. With a staff of more than 350 and numerous specialised industry and service teams, Anchin is a full-service accounting, tax and advisory firm that provides investment companies, privately-held businesses, and high net worth individuals/family offices with a wide range of traditional and non-traditional services.
Jeffrey Rosenthal (pictured), CPA, CGMA, is Partner–in-Charge of Anchin's Financial Services Practice. "2016 continues to be a trying year for start-up funds," he says, "however, we observed a growing trend in family offices establishing funds and investing on their own and in emerging managers." This growth area in particular has created an expanding market for accounting and consulting services, confirmed Rosenthal, noting, "We have also seen a continued trend in managers establishing real estate and private equity funds."
"Start-ups need to focus more on establishing best practices; this is critical and something we always stress to newly launched funds," Rosenthal says. "Today's hedge fund manager has to continuously justify their trading strategy." Rosenthal and his team advise start-ups on how to stay the course.
Anchin prides itself on providing clients with high involvement from senior personnel as well as frequent communication with fund managers. This is a key point if one considers that many start-up fund managers may have extensive trading experience but little business acumen.
"We assist managers with issues and help them avoid common pitfalls of setting up a business. We can advise on structuring, hiring, budgeting, thinking forward about growth, creating short- and long-term plans, and establishing best practices that include preparing to register with the SEC as an investment adviser," explains Rosenthal.
The SEC has recently been focusing on fund expenses and fees, as well as cybersecurity preparedness, as the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) embarks on its latest round of inspections. It is therefore becoming increasingly important for hedge funds to have a clear audit trail, not only for the SEC, but also to be able to communicate clearly with auditors and investors.
"This is especially true in the valuation process," says Rosenthal. "When a fund's investments include more than Level One or easy-to-value securities, the methodology that must be used to value less liquid securities is more complex. It is therefore important to make sure that the fund has thoroughly documented support and has consistent, well thought out and auditable procedures in place.
With respect to cybersecurity we strongly encourage our clients to do likewise and advise them accordingly. We recommend they develop a written information security policy (WISP) that articulates their security policies and procedures, clearly assigns responsibilities, and describes the monitoring and testing of their systems."
On winning the award, Rosenthal comments: "On the heels of winning the Best Global Accounting Firm Award for the sixth consecutive year and for recognition of Best North American Accounting Firm, we continue to be proud of what makes us who we are – a team that delivers unmatched client service and who continue to go above and beyond on a daily basis. I am proud to say that we truly take an interest in our clients and our people.