Stone Coast was founded in 2006, though its senior team began together in 1999. Stone Coast’s founders previously built and led the highly regarded U.S. hedge fund administration business of a global custody bank, but left to pursue a more client-focused model that might avoid the dysfunction endemic to large banks.
Stone Coast’s founding insight was that while banks might dominate fund administration, they weren’t interested in the back-office operations business for its own sake, but merely as means to an end. The financial services “supermarket” model compelled the broadest possible footprint in hedge fund services so that higher-margin products – brokerage, financing, private and investment banking – might be cross-sold. Fund administration – sometimes run at a loss – was a necessary evil. That model dictated certain compromises that still characterize the industry: scale matters more than quality; pace of growth outweighs quality of service; simple funds are prioritized over complex funds; operations costs are more easily controlled (via high-turnover models and off-shoring) than is corporate overhead.
That prevailing model left (and continues to leave) a niche for truly service-focused firms, able to attract and retain senior talent and willing to pursue prudent growth. Stone Coast’s uniquely available resource was a deep and stable talent pool in a lifestyle-friendly, low-turnover location. Building initially with the talent of former colleagues, Stone Coast has continued to focus on hiring industry experience, typically from the Boston-to-New York corridor.
Stone Coast launched a Bermuda subsidiary – Stone Coast Fund Services Ltd. – in 2007, and was licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority in 2008. As most of its offshore fund clients and service partners were domiciled in the Cayman Islands, Stone Coast re-domiciled its subsidiary there in 2015, obtaining licensure from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority in the process.
Since 2009, Stone Coast controls have been subject to examination by independent auditors, resulting in SOC 1 Type 2 reports each year.