Operational efficiency in a digital environment
Citco: Best Fund Administrator >USD30 billion – The value of data and digitisation are coming to the fore within the private equity industry. Finding operational efficiency is high on managers’ agendas and making full use of the valuable data they have is key to further development in the space.
“The key trends in PE that are driving our development over the last year are digitisation and a growing understanding of the value of data. Managers are demanding digitised workflows and real time access to data in their reporting tools. The ability for managers, administrators and investors to interact digitally is currently a point of differentiation for the top managers,” says Sam Metland, Executive Vice President and Head of Private Equity Product at Citco (UK) Limited.
Metland explains the firm is responding to the industry move towards a more digital working environment, by focusing product development towards enhancing its digital toolkit and bringing the broader resources of Citco to play in Private Equity. He provides an example: “We are using our cloud-based subscription, treasury and waterfall tools to digitise complex processes and our data services product to automate data exchange between our systems and client systems.”
GPs are becoming more focused on operational efficiency and on the usage of the valuable data which they have. Where returns are reverting to mean, these things become differentiators and GPs are focusing more on getting value from them.
As a result, Citco is offering a more and more thorough client facing digital tool kit, CitcoOne, which includes an online subscription engine, an integrated accounts payable and payments engine, an online capital event workflow tool and private equity data integrated into its new data services product.
Commenting on the industry more broadly, Metland notes: “From a back and middle office perspective the key challenges at the moment for GPs are finding operational efficiencies and building a robust control environment. To do this they need to ensure that the operational processes run smoothly and relevant information is presented in a timely fashion.
“Our services provide the tool kit to make this happen. Expert teams across the globe can be relied on to deliver the important administrative tasks and keep things running smoothly. We then layer on top of this a toolkit to help manager run their processes in a digital fashion.”
The focus on digitisation is only bound to grow. According to Metland: “The top managers are now using digital as a way to differentiator from their peers. As the rest of the industry follows the leaders into digital we expect to see a huge growth in adoption of new tools and new ways of working. This will lead to industrialisation and standardisation of processes throughout the value chain. We also expect managers to look more to respond to LP pressure for transparency on ESG of portfolio companies as well as move to more Impact investing.”
EVP & Head of Private Equity Product, Citco UK
Sam Metland is an Executive Vice President and Head of Private Equity Product at Citco (UK) Limited. With over 15 years’ experience in the private funds industry, Sam has focused on building products and operating models across the liquidity spectrum. Prior to joining Citco he worked at Insight Investment as part of the corporate strategy team, at Brown Brothers Harriman as head of Alternatives Product and at JP Morgan as part of the Alternatives Solutions team. Sam is a graduate of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and holds an Honours BSc in Maths Statistics and Operational Research.