Transparency and timeliness as client base becomes more diverse
SS&C Advent: Best Portfolio Management Software Provider – As more institutional investors look to invest in private equity, transparency and timeliness of information from general partners (GPs) becomes more crucial. Consequently, GPs need to deliver an improved online experience for investors.
Roger Woolman (pictured), Sales and Business Development Director, Fund Management & Alternative Investments at SS&C Advent elaborates: “This asset class is especially hands-on as compared to other strategies; so technology can be a real game-changer. A slick online investor experience with improved time-frames for reporting and transparency significantly augments the traditional white-glove approach.”
As the private equity industry becomes more mainstream and the increased public outlook for firms attracts a more diverse investor pool, Woolman identifies an increased appetite for cloud and mobile solutions.
In its efforts to serve the industry, SS&C has developed investor portal offerings that knit with the automated back-office to report and communicate capital flows, holdings, performance, distributions and more. This can all be delivered within a private cloud environment.
According to Woolman, technology moves the investment management and investment administration industry closer to its goal of a fully self-serviced, digital, experience. He explains how PE and hybrid funds need an integrated investment and investor management capability together with an accounting function which can serve as a platform for both transparency and growth.
Woolman says: “These challenges are resolved with a solution that facilitates that growth without adding headcount or variable costs. Our technology offerings are configured to allow GPs to continue to deliver a specialised investment offering while meeting the demands of a growing portfolio.
“With a single, end-to-end portfolio investment and investor accounting solution, firms can monitor and control the relationship between each investor’s capital flows and the final investments. It allows you to track your investors across multiple investments, generate accurate fee and distribution waterfall calculations, and provide opt-in/opt-out capabilities where desired. You can also run exposure reporting to show investors exactly where their money is going—a growing imperative, as industry pressure builds for greater transparency and more reporting standardisation.”
SS&C expects the trend for inflows into private equity to continue. “Private equity is receiving the lion’s share of the alternatives allocation flow—something we see in our own business from conversations with fund managers keen to launch closed-end or hybrid funds, and service providers that need the operational wherewithal to support them,” Woolman comments.
In addition to investment skill and competence, firms need a reliable trading, processing and overall operational infrastructure purposely designed to manage the idiosyncrasies of managing assets like private equity and private debt, and the fund structures that house them.
He concludes that in this competitive environment, firms that can differentiate themselves with great investments, robust financial and operating governance, and a modern investor experience, will be the ones to rise to the top.
Director, Funds & Alternatives, SS&C Advent
Roger Woolman joined SS&C Advent in 2011 and currently holds the position of Director, Funds and Alternatives. He is responsible for the management and oversight of SS&C Advent’s funds and alternatives business segments for the EMEA and APAC regions. He coordinates all sales efforts for the alternative investment platforms; hedge funds, private equity, private real estate funds, credit and other alternative investment strategies and executes the respective business development and marketing plans.