When looking for a time-tested, innovative company that provides transfer agent (TA) services and a complete array of back office processes dedicated to the non-traded direct investment industry, look no further than Phoenix American Financial Services (Phoenix).
For over 40 years the San Francisco area-based company has provided shareholder record keeping, tax/accounting, sales and marketing reporting, and transfer agent services to sponsors of non-traded investment offerings.
Phoenix began as an investment sponsor and while doing so, built and managed its own back office operations. Experiencing firsthand the challenges of being a capital raiser, an investment manager, and a transfer agent, Phoenix’s leadership recognized the opportunity to expand its TA services to help other sponsors efficiently manage back office operations.
David Fisher, Director of Marketing for Phoenix, says, “Phoenix is an innovation oriented company. We have been in the direct investment space since 1972; we were ourselves an equipment leasing sponsor for many years.”
Today, Phoenix provides TA services to sponsors of non-traded REITs and other direct real estate programs, fixed income funds, equipment leasing funds, oil & gas partnerships, commodity pool operators, and asset backed securities. The company also provides corporate and fund accounting including preparation and printing of K-1s and 1099s.
The company offers full service investor administration such as new business processing, electronic document management, confirmation letters, and investor / rep access to records through a customized web portal, as well as printing and fulfillment of checks, statements, client communications and marketing materials.
Additionally, Phoenix makes available investor relation services including a dedicated call center, email alerts and communications, distributions, redemptions, transfers, commission calculation, and tax reporting, to name a few.
The company prides itself on “distinctive quality, superior technology and committed customer service at a reasonable price.” Phoenix designed and customized its STAR-XMS transfer agent system specifically for the non-traded direct investment industry and has an international team of representatives available 24/7 to field sponsor and investor inquiries.
“We built our systems, and our procedures, and our whole approach to customer service from direct experience of our own,” added Fisher. “We have innovated with every change in the industry along the way.”
An example of Phoenix’s innovative culture is its creation of services for companies using rule 506(c), a provision of the JOBS Act, allowing issuers to use general solicitation when raising capital. Phoenix offers administration services that allow issuers to separate operations from compliance, recordkeeping, and the accreditation process. In addition to the services you’d expect from a transfer agent, Phoenix provides investor accreditation services that are in strict compliance with SEC rule 501.
No matter the investment offering type, Phoenix defines itself as a true partner to its sponsor clients. Phoenix offers each client sponsor a customized package of services to address its particular operational pain points. Smaller sponsors or those just starting out may self-administer, however, Phoenix looks to improve their likelihood of success by offering a superior transfer agent system, STAR-XMS, for their internal use and the benefit of Phoenix’s experience and expertise as they may need it.
Fisher suggests these sponsors should concentrate on raising and deploying capital, rather than spending resources on building and maintaining a back office operation.
“We focus very strongly on the sponsors just coming into the space because we know that they’ll have a better chance of growing and succeeding with us as their back office partner,” says Fisher.