Private capital may have historically lagged the rest of the asset management industry in terms of technology and digitalisation, but the past year has brought about a sea change in this regard. This report, featuring some of the winners in the service provider categories at the Private Equity Wire European Awards 2021, details the way teams shifted and adapted and how their service provider partners supported this transition.
The 'European Service Provider Insights 2021' special report comprises 18 separate articles listed below, these can be read individually or as a sequence.
By A Paris – Private capital may have historically lagged the rest of the asset management industry in terms of technology and digitalisation, but the past year has brought about a sea change in this regard. As teams were shifted to remote working, general partners (GPs) had to use new tools and solutions to encourage collaboration and productivity while also guaranteeing open communication with limited partners (LPs), whose need for data and information increased sharply.
SS&C Intralinks: Best Investor Relations Technology – Requests for more data and transparency are changing the private equity landscape. These demands have become burdensome from the general partners’ (GPs) perspective so the need for efficiency on this front has been pushed to the fore.
FIS: Best Portfolio Management Software Provider – As private equity continues to attract more and more capital from existing and new sources like high-net worth individuals, managers must meet the changing investor needs. There has been a rise in asset class cross-over with traditional managers buying private firms or starting closed-end vehicles and private capital firms launching open-ended structures.
iConnections: Best Fund Raising Solution – As travel restrictions extended beyond March 2020, raising assets without face-to-face meetings proved challenging, especially in private markets which are heavily reliant on personal relationships. In this environment, asset owners and investment managers recognised the need to think laterally and search for a virtual platform which understands the bespoke needs of the private capital community.
AssetMetrix: Best ESG Solution Provider – As the need for transparency persists and private equity managers are pushed to integrate increasingly sophisticated tools into their processes, the importance of delivering high quality data in a timely manner is being thrown into sharper relief.
RFA: Best Cloud Services Provider – Digital transformation can create efficiencies within a business, increasing visibility of data and reducing cost. However, it is crucial that any digital transformation is approached correctly, as a poorly executed strategy can lead to significant business disruption.
CEPRES: Best Data Management Solution – Demand for rigorous and in-depth analysis of complex investment strategies is growing exponentially as more capital is allocated to private markets. In this environment, access to accurate data down to single asset levels is critical to support insightful analysis, and investors with this access can achieve better investment outcomes and possess a distinct advantage.
SS&C Advent: Best Accounting & Reporting Software – Hedge fund managers actively invest in private equity and launch funds to satisfy investors’ demands for better returns. To succeed, hedge funds need a multi-asset class system with robust private equity capabilities to support their investor pools.
Lionpoint: Best Technology Advisory Firm – The changes and uncertainty which have come to light in the past year, coupled with the increasing speed of the private equity industry, have highlighted the need for faster, more reliable data to enable real-time forecasting and portfolio monitoring, accounting fund administration and performance.
Jensen Partners: Best Recruitment Company for Investor Relations & Asset Raising – Diversity is increasing across the private equity industry as firms are launching new strategies and building new teams, meaning they are recruiting and hiring talent in large numbers. This is happening as general partners (GPs) and limited partners (LPs) call for greater transparency and accountability on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
Wheelhouse Advisors: Best Accounting Firm – Private equity firms in the UK and Europe must brace themselves for significant change as a wave of new regulation is due to be implemented in January 2022 and UK firms understand how to continue marketing their funds across the EU in a post-Brexit world.
Crestbridge: Best Fund Administrator – Technology – As diversification continued to be critical amid the general disruption experienced this year, private equity managers have sought increasing assistance to support their expansion across domiciles and asset classes.
Alter Domus: Best Fund Administrator (GPs with assets >$30bn) – Progress in technology is driving managers to create more complex private equity strategies and as products are globalised, the lines which historically were drawn between segments are blurring. There is also growing specialisation in the industry.
Options: Best Technology Infrastructure Provider – The outlook for the private equity market is particularly buoyant, with firms expected to increase their headcount and push hard on cost efficiencies. They will also be delivering digital transformation projects within a context of continued remote working environments.
One Ten Associates: Best Recruitment Company for Operations & Finance – Recruitment in private equity is evolving. Managers want to build holistic relationships with recruiters who have a greater understanding of their business.
ACA Group: Best Regulatory & Compliance Firm – Fundraising is expected to increase in the second half of 2021 into 2022 and as private equity firms face challenges on various dimensions, support that blends practical and regulatory advice is becoming critical.
Validus Risk Management: Best Risk Management Software Provider – Though the start of the pandemic in 2020 may have rocked the industry, many private equity firms went on to have a stellar year, with some raising record funds. As fund-raising activity and deal-flow increased, more general partners (GPs) sought support from their partners. The growing focus on risk management also led to more clients looking for risk advisory, hedge strategy execution and technology solutions.
DealCloud, an Intapp Company: Best Secure Workflow Management Provider – Despite operating almost completely remotely, in a post-pandemic world, many dealmakers are expected to become road warriors again. In view of this, technology will remain pivotal to ensuring they are coordinated and prepared for both on-site and remote meetings or due diligence.