Meet the Juniper Square Administration Team

Whether you’re launching a new fund, thinking about switching from your current administrator, or just need help with ongoing deal administration and accounting issues, finding the right fit with your administrator is key. They should deliver a great experience for your investors, understand your industry, and employ tech-driven processes to drive efficiency and reduce risk. The Juniper Square Administration team delivers on all fronts.

Our business grew by more than 5x over the past year and our team has grown rapidly to keep pace. We’ve brought together a group of experts who understand the administration business from their time at third-party administrators, investment managers, and public accounting firms.

The individuals that make up our modern administration team are really what sets us apart from our competitors. They are committed to your success and to helping you serve your investors better. And bу automating and improving accounting and investor servicing processes, they can help your firm be more productive and perform at the highest level. Together, they can transform the way your business operates.

Get to know a few of the experts

Dorota Kowalski, CPA

Experience:

20+ years

Past firms:

Northern Trust, EY

Industry experience: 

Real estate, private equity, hedge funds, and audit

How is Juniper Square different? 

The approach at Juniper Square is completely different from what I’ve experienced at other administrators. From day one, we’ve worked to deliver great experiences to both GPs and LPs. And we do that by bringing together teams with a diverse set of skills (product managers, engineers, designers) to collaborate and build solutions to the administration challenges facing our clients and our internal teams. Quite frankly, this is something I haven’t seen to the same extent elsewhere.

What role does technology play in the industry? 

Technology has taken on new importance. The administration challenges the industry faces can no longer be resolved by just the IT department. They can only be solved when technology development is one of the administrator’s core capabilities. That then allows administrators to meet the increasing expectations of GPs and their investors.

How can GPs adapt to the changes in private markets?

GPs are expected to be more transparent. They’re facing rising regulatory and compliance demands, fee structures have been under pressure, and there’s more competition for deals. That means they need to expect more than just accounting services from their administrator. They should be looking for an administration partner who can help them navigate these challenges and who can help strengthen their overall business.

How can GPs do a better job administering their funds?

Start by finding the administration partner that’s right for you, and make sure you ask the right questions and get the answers you need to make that decision. Once you’ve found the right partner, invest in the relationship. That close relationship will pay dividends as they help you navigate through changes in compliance, reporting, and accounting standards. 

A forward-thinking mindset also goes a long way. We’re seeing GPs implement more creative—and often more complex—fee and management provisions into their fund documents in response to changing investor expectations.

Adam Walker

Experience:

10+ years

Past firms:

UMB, Dakota Pacific

Industry experience:

Real estate, private equity, fund of funds, private credit, and family offices

What made Juniper Square the right place for you? 

Juniper Square is taking a tech-forward, digital-first approach to fund administration. But we’re not digital-only. Even though we’re constantly pursuing automation, we know it takes tenured professionals to make the whole process work. I personally saw the unique opportunity and strategic position that Juniper Square had created, and I wanted to help build a modern fund administration company.

How is Juniper Square different? 

Juniper Square was already a leader in investment management software and now it is one of the fastest-growing fund administration firms in the world. For me, the most exciting thing about this is that Juniper Square is only going to get better over the upcoming years. That’s different from traditional administrators who are sticking to what they’ve been doing for the past 10+ years. And we’re not just here to be the best fund administration company, we’re here to make private markets more transparent, efficient, and accessible.

How are changes in private markets affecting GPs?

There has been explosive growth in private markets and that growth looks set to continue. That’s driving expectations for more seamless processes and greater transparency. We’ve seen some of those changes already happen in public markets (many of which are heavily technology-enabled) and we’re seeing similar developments in private markets as well.

How can GPs do a better job administering their funds?

Don’t fall behind and settle for a status quo experience for your investors; their expectations are rising. The typical high net worth investor profile is rapidly changing and the new generation is used to having everything they need on demand. Make sure your internal teams and your external partners are set up to meet those needs.

Kency Theork

Experience:

15+ years

Past firms:

Gen II, State Street

Industry experience:

Real estate, private equity, fund of funds

Why Juniper Square?  

I’m excited that Juniper Square has a technology-first mindset as a company. That mentality is a great asset when it comes to figuring out how automation can improve efficiency and consistency. Plus, Juniper Square has an engaging culture that makes the firm an attractive place to work.

How is Juniper Square different?  

There is a great culture around teamwork, collaboration, and transparency that is beyond anything I’ve seen at other firms in the industry. That really shows up in the quality of work that goes into serving each one of our clients. 

What are some ways that administrators need to adapt?

There is a real need for automation, efficiency, consistency, and transparency across the industry. The industry is moving in that direction because it helps GPs feel confident in how their funds are being managed. One of the ways I’ve seen this in action at Juniper Square is in the ability to produce a capital call with a few clicks. In the past, that used to take my previous teams at least half of a day for even the most basic capital call allocations and notices.

How can GPs continue to build enduring relationships with their LPs?

LPs are becoming more sophisticated, which means GPs have to elevate their level of service. It’s no longer enough to manage a fund using spreadsheets, especially if GPs want to attract family offices or institutional LPs. GPs are facing pressures similar to public fund managers where there’s a high bar for transparency and up-to-date information. 

They must be proactive. Markets are changing quickly. The further ahead you plan, the better able you’ll be to meet rising investor expectations. And it never hurts to develop true partnerships with all of your stakeholders, including LPs, your administrator, and industry groups.

TC Shen

Experience:

15+ years

Past firms:

Gen II

Industry experience:

Private equity, real estate

Provide some details about the types of clients and industries you’ve worked with in the past: 

I’ve worked in-house on the GP side as well as at third-party administrators. During that time, I’ve covered multinational real estate funds investing in pretty much all asset classes and I’ve worked with private equity firms.

What’s your favorite accounting concept/practice?

Calculation of carried interest—I love seeing our customers have successful funds.

What motivated you to join Juniper Square?

The main attraction was the technology-driven aspect of solving challenges in the fund administration industry. It was also important that I would have the opportunity to help build a team and processes that would have a lasting influence on how the industry approaches administration.

How is Juniper Square different from other administrators?

Juniper Square emphasizes using technology to drive efficiencies and process automation in an environment that fosters innovation. Plus, being part of an organization that values our team members as well as the overall customer experience was a refreshing change.

What changes have you seen in the administration industry over the past few years? 

I’ve seen a shift towards more standardized reporting with templates like ILPA. That’s helping GPs manage investor requests for data while still delivering the transparency and insight they expect.

How can GPs do a better job administering their funds? 

Lean on your fund administrator and their experience. We want you to concentrate on what you do best, acquiring deals and delivering great returns to your investors.

Michael Drobny, CPA

Experience:

15+ years

Past firms:

AlterDomus, RSM

Industry experience:

Private equity, real estate, venture capital, venture debt, private credit, hybrid funds, BDCs, and SBICs

What do you like about accounting? 

I love that accounting is full of opportunities to solve problems. I think about accounting as my “craft” because it’s more than just a profession to me and I am truly passionate about accounting and private equity as a whole. One of our many responsibilities is to help our clients find the proper accounting treatment that applies to their circumstances so they can focus on making the best investment decisions for their investors.

What changes have you seen in the administration industry?

Accounting departments are becoming leaner and that means administrators are an increasingly critical partner for financial reporting, treasury, compliance, and investor services. This is happening against a backdrop of increased domestic and international regulations, greater demands for KYC processes, and an imperative to manage cybersecurity risks. Administrators have a key role to play to help their clients meet these demands.

How are changes in the private markets affecting GPs?

There is a lot of dry powder waiting to be deployed. This puts pressure on managers of all sizes to be in a position to respond quickly to investment opportunities as soon as they arise. Because of that, they cannot always be focused on fund operations. Instead, they need to dedicate their energy to raising money and sourcing deals.

Beyond the pressure to fundraise, there are additional regulatory and structuring complexities for GPs to navigate. As a few examples, Irish Limited Partnerships and the UK’s most recent Qualified Asset Holding Company (QACH) have emerged to help manage tax consequences for certain types of investors. In the United States, there have been additional regulations put in place by the IRS such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which came out of the Dodd Frank Act of 2010. More recently, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) added more robust regulations and oversight over closed-end funds with the passage of the Private Funds Bill of 2020. Though not all GPs are directly affected by all of these changes, it’s important that they stay on top of changing regulations and guidance as they manage their funds.

What are a few things GPs should be thinking about?

Focus on communication and transparency. That goes a long way in helping GPs get the most out of the relationship with their administrator.

First-time fund managers should also know that it is extremely critical to have valuation policies in place and a strong narrative to help explain their rationale for each investment. This will help substantiate their investment valuation decisions during the audit process and will provide greater transparency to investors, which ultimately strengthens those relationships.

Ted Cervini, CPA

Experience:

10+ years 

Past firms:

Ultimus LeverPoint

Industry experience:

Growth private equity, buyout, real estate

How is Juniper Square different? 

At Juniper Square we build our administration solutions around our technology. That means we can expect our capabilities to continuously improve to meet our clients’ needs. Plus, it’s an extremely collaborative place where we value input from all members of the team regardless of title and experience. That leads to more creative and collaborative problem solving and better outcomes for our clients.

How are investor expectations changing? 

Over the past few years, investors have shown they need more information and they need it fast. Fund administrators with strong technology can make that information more accessible than it has ever been. That leads to less time spent compiling information and more time spent analyzing and acting on the insights that administrators and GPs can provide.

What major challenges are GPs dealing with today?

GPs face pressure to raise money and to do it efficiently, and they’re expected to be more transparent in their reporting. Fundraising for many GPs is time-consuming and it can be expensive if they’re reliant on placement agents. They’re also finding that investors, largely thanks to availability of information in public markets, expect more robust reporting and easy access to information.

What should GPs look for in a fund administrator?

Engage with a fund administrator with strong technology. Your LPs will get a better experience and you can focus on delivering benchmark-beating returns.

Ready to partner with us? Contact Juniper Square to find out more about Modern Administration.