Profile: David Hudson

Written by: Suntera Global Posted: 25/11/2021

BL75_Suntera_DavidHudsonFollowing a management buy-out that has seen David Hudson take the reins of Suntera Global and settle the business in Jersey, we take a look at his plans for the future

Tell us about your role with Suntera.

I have worked for Suntera for 16 years in a variety of roles, primarily business development or client management. I became Group CEO in June 2019, having led a management buy-out of the group.

Have you implemented any significant changes since the buy-out?

The leadership and senior management team we inherited in June 2019 was very strong, they were the foundation upon which the MBO was built.

What was clear at the outset was that to build scale and drive the improvements we wanted in the Suntera Global platform – compliance, corporate governance, HR, technology – there were capability gaps we needed to fill. 

It’s always our priority to deepen our capabilities and promote from within, and so a number of these gaps were filled internally. As a result, we only needed to bring in a small number of key senior roles to the Group. 

Consequently, we recruited a new Chief People Officer, Managing Director, Fund Services Division, Head of M&A, Global Head of Compliance, Global Head of IT and a Global Head of Marketing. 

We also took the decision to transition our corporate headquarters to Jersey, and all but one of these senior people have been sourced from the island.

You were granted a licence to provide fund administration services in Jersey in the summer of 2021 – how do you plan to capitalise on that?

In tandem with transitioning our own corporate headquarters to Jersey, we’re also building and drawing on Jersey’s strengths as a funds centre to support our own strategic growth.

Our focus as a boutique fund administrator, for instance, is to support start-up to mid-size private, listed and authorised funds across a spectrum of sectors, including private equity, real assets, hedge, debt and also the more specialised niche esoteric asset.

Jersey is the perfect fit in these areas, with products such as the Jersey Private Fund (JPF). 

Jersey Finance’s new sustainable finance initiative, Jersey for Good: A Sustainable Future, also strongly aligns with our ESG strategy, and the jurisdiction is already structuring investment vehicles for global managers with environmental, social or governance objectives worth billions of pounds. 

How does the Jersey licence fit in with your overall growth plans?

Jersey has a well-respected funds sector that offers regimes from retail options through to the more sophisticated and institutional end of the market.

The island is also a growing hub for fund managers, servicing fund assets valued at £436bn, a figure that went up 15% in H1 2021.

More widely, the island has a reputation globally for being a forward-thinking international finance centre with considerable depth of experience, including in the private client space. It’s a very good fit for us strategically and culturally. 

We are also, though, growing our continental European proposition and in summer 2021 made moves to acquire two Luxembourg businesses – Reference Financial Services and NeoTrust.

These acquisitions are a signal of our intent to significantly grow our European fund and corporate services proposition, broaden our client base and bolster our platform in the EU.

The Jersey growth and Luxembourg acquisitions are all part of our overall growth trajectory.

ESG has moved front and centre over recent months – how has the firm responded to that?

A commitment to high environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards sits at the heart of our culture, and it always has done. 

Suntera Global is built on a strong foundation of business governance, ethics and responsible practices and our motto is ‘empowering responsible ambition’.

Ultimately, governance and responsibility are ‘what we do’ as an administrator. It’s an intrinsic part of our role to be accountable for our actions but also to channel stewardship around managing that responsibility. 

Arguably, the emphasis in the rapidly evolving ESG space to date has been on the ‘E’, but increasingly we are seeing recognition among clients that the ‘G’– which underpins stewardship, responsible behaviour and integrity – is absolutely critical.

For our own part, we support global causes such as climate change by limiting pollution and waste within our local environment.

Our processes and policies achieve these goals through recycling, limiting paper use and employing digital solutions to reduce our carbon footprint. 

You now have more than 320 staff in eight locations around the world – how do you engage and support them?

Our absolute focus is on creating an inclusive and collaborative environment, built on transparency and communication, empowering our staff to achieve their goals.

Given the jurisdictionally agnostic services we offer clients through our divisional management structure, all our offices are of the same strategic importance. 

Although my base is Jersey, I make regular visits to all our offices to meet our staff, build cultural alignment and ensure the consistent communication of our goals and aspirations.

During the pandemic I was keen to reach out to staff digitally across our locations on a regular basis. 

How important is digitisation in supporting high-quality client service?

It’s vitally important. As client needs become more global, the capability to deliver governance frameworks that embrace digital technologies becomes more critical.

The role of the regulator in facilitating digital compliance and governance is largely going to dictate the pace of change across global markets, but at a business level we are absolutely focused on remaining at the forefront of digital skills and innovation. 

Further information
To find out more about Suntera’s journey, visit suntera.com

This advertising feature was first published in the November 2021 - January 2022 Technology Edition of Businesslife magazine


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