The ' US Service Provider Insights 2020' special report comprises 10 separate articles listed below, these can be read individually or as a sequence.
By A Paris – In what has been a tumultuous year for all sectors, private equity has had to adapt in the face of the investment and operational challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic. Amid the struggles, fund raising efforts remained strong and general partners (GPs), together with their service providers, stepped up and adjusted to this new environment.
FIS: Best Accounting & Reporting Software – Private equity firms look likely to continue operating remotely and engaging virtually with investors. And as more retail investing strategies and 401k plans in the US embrace private equity, the industry is also seeing greater demands for access to information and higher standards of reporting.
SS&C GlobeOp: Best Fund Administrator (GP’s with assets >USD30bn) – Private equity firms’ trend to partner with third-party service providers was well underway ahead of the Covid-19 crisis. The pandemic has accelerated the consideration for many PE firms to outsource a number of aspects of their operations and form strong alliances with service providers who can engage and integrate with their business.
UMB Fund Services: Best Fund Administrator – Technology – Private equity is well positioned to take advantage of the uncertainty in the marketplace, with technology forming a firm foundation for these efforts. In this context, PE managers are recognising the power their data holds and their need for accuracy and flexibility in this regard continues to grow as their investors become increasingly sophisticated.
Jensen Partners: Best Recruitment Company for Executives & Best Recruitment Company for Investor Relations & Asset Raising – As private equity firms expand across geographies, strategies and sectors, there is a growing need for professionals with specialised skillsets and relationships and relationships in emerging markets. Further, the focus on diversity and impact investing is marking a shift in the industry which is also coming to terms with the transition to virtual platforms.
Options: Best Cloud Services Provider – The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted financial firm vulnerabilities, as changes in the way people work have led to an increased awareness of cybersecurity and a keen focus on the best tools to facilitate remote working. Private Equity Wire spoke with Options, Microsoft Gold Partner and recent winner of Private Equity Wire US Award “Best Cloud Services Provider” around agility in the virtual climate.
CohnReznick: Best Tax Adviser – The onset of the coronavirus pandemic postponed or brought a halt to most deals in the private equity pipeline, shifting the emphasis of most firms to the health and survival of their portfolio companies. However, as private equity firms have gained more insight into today’s uncertain market conditions, they have increased their comfort level and deal activity has begun to accelerate. As uncertainty remains the order of the day, firms look to their partners for support in creating and finding value.
Centaur Fund Services US: Best Fund Administrator (GP’s with assets <USD30bn) – As fund administration complexity and regulatory burdens grow, technology is playing an increasingly critical role in the fund administration process. General partners (GPs) can reap the benefits of third-party systems without the cost and time associated with implementing and maintaining these systems in-house. This allows investors to have real-time access to reporting through portals where they can view data at any time, across multiple investment structures in multiple jurisdictions with complete transparency.
Prosek Partners: Best PR & Communications Agency – The world is moving fast and the biggest challenge general partners (GPs) face is to remain “modern.” This means ensuring a myriad of elements are taken into account when looking to grow their organisation. These include integrated communication channels, diversity and technology. Further, industry demand for sustainability and the shift to remote working caused by the Covid-19 crisis has led to an expansion of duties and services for firms in the marketing and communication arena.
RFA: Best Technology Infrastructure Provider – Private equity is seeing considerable interest from institutional investors hunting for return. Although the pandemic has impacted valuations, it has also triggered the potential for opportunity creation and caused a shift in the type of investments being made. As the sector moves to broader digitalisation, PE managers are also using big data in a more proactive manner.