Netage Survey Underscores the Importance of Investor Portals to the Alternative Assets Industry

Netage Survey Underscores the Importance of Investor Portals to the Alternative Assets Industry
Travis LeSaffre

WATERTOWN, MA – January 25, 2010 – Netage Solutions, Inc., a premier provider of CRM software and online reporting systems for the alternative assets industry, today announced the results of a survey which reveals that while limited partners (LPs) and their advisors overwhelmingly agree that online reporting systems help increase transparency, a large portion of alternative investment firms may be hindering their capital-raising efforts by not providing investors with access to such systems.

These results came to light in a survey of 31 institutional investors, family offices, and advisors conducted in the fourth quarter of 2009.  Nearly 87% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “Online reporting systems provide much needed transparency in the alternative assets industry”.  Further underscoring the importance of investor portals in the wake of the Madoff scandal and the financial crisis, 63% of respondents said that they “prefer to invest with alternative asset managers that report online to investors.”

Despite validating the intrinsic value of online reporting systems, the survey reveals that a significant portion of alternative investment firms do not currently provide their investors with a secure portal for viewing and downloading reports, documents, and other information.  Nearly 42% of respondents said that only 26-50% of their fund managers provide access to a portal, while another 16% of respondents reported that less than a quarter of their managers do.

“The conclusions that can be drawn from this survey are eye-opening,” said Stuart Sheppard, Managing Director at Netage Solutions.  “That a majority of respondents prefer to invest with alternative asset managers who report online indicates that firms without investor portals are potentially missing out on opportunities to raise capital from new clients.  On the operational side, these firms are definitely not realizing the significant time and cost savings typically generated by online reporting systems.”

The survey also found that even those firms that do offer investor portals have some work to do.  Overall, respondents ranked online reporting systems between “fair” and “good” with a rating of 2.61 (on a scale of one to four).  Although the quality of investor portals offered by each alternative asset class varied somewhat, the scores still fell within the same range.  Private equity topped the list with an average rating of 2.74, followed by venture capital (2.57), hedge funds (2.56), funds of funds (2.32), and real estate (2.21). 

When asked what improvements investors would like to see in online reporting systems, most comments centered on their navigation and search capabilities—enabling users to find information quickly, and with fewer clicks.  Another popular suggestion was the ability to download data (e.g. transactions and capital account balances) to Microsoft Excel®, so these figures don’t have to be manually rekeyed.  Finally, several investors recommended back-filling new online reporting systems with historical fund information, including capital calls, distributions, and unfunded commitments.

Download the full survey results.

About Netage Solutions
For more than a decade, Netage Solutions, Inc. has been the premier provider of CRM software and online reporting systems for the alternative assets industry, including private equity and venture capital firms, hedge funds, real estate investment firms, funds of funds, prime brokers, and institutional investors.  Intuitive and highly configurable, the Dynamo™ Suite has improved the productivity of deal, research, and investor relations teams worldwide.  Collectively, our clients manage nearly $400 billion in assets.  For more information, visit www.NetageSolutions.com.

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