Alternative asset management firms vary in size, but no matter how many people are on your team, your firm still needs to perform the same base functions: deal management, research management and investor relations. Many firms operate without a system, electing to manually track performance data, commitments, distributions, and email lists in complex spreadsheets, leaving their processes vulnerable to human error.
Some firms employ multiple systems across the organization, each serving its own function. While each system may streamline tasks for the specific team using it, disparate solutions can slow the organization overall as files and communication details are stored across multiple locations.
An alternative asset management system is an investment in a team’s time and budget, so it is important to choose one that provides the greatest return to the members of your team. In the best-case scenario, you should aim for a system that is modular. This way, it can be rolled out organization-wide, or you can pick and choose which functionalities on an “a la carte” basis, allowing you to only pay for what you need, and add features in phases.
To aid in your search, we have laid out 3 must-have capabilities a system should have in order to give you the best value.
Your software should serve as a central repository for all deal-related activities, from ideation through post-investment monitoring. Your deal team should be able to store opportunities and contacts, and tag relevant research, relationships, and data to investment ideas. Your system should allow you to track opportunities through the deal pipeline, and trigger tasks and next steps through automated workflows that follow your team’s deal management process.
Once an investment is made, your system should support portfolio management, so you can monitor financial and performance data, and continue to make informed investment decisions.
Quality research and analysis is the key to making the right investment decisions for your team, so it is critical that this information be available to all parties within an organization. Your system should allow you to not only aggregate research, but also store research and its related analysis with relevant investment ideas, opportunities, and deals. When related entities and report-friendly data are stored in a central location, information is easily retrieved, and vital insights are efficiently dispersed across the organization.
Your investors are your most important asset. Your Investor Relations team should have a system in place that streamlines investor communication and provides a cohesive experience. Your software should serve as a centralized database for current and prospective investors, but it should not stop there. A good system should provide current investors secure access to fund performance data and reports, and give prospective investors access to relevant marketing materials and PPMs. It should also allow investors to electronically sign and submit documents, easing some of the burden for both the IR team and the investors. A well-rounded system should provide a secure way to distribute K-1s and other tax documents to authorized, related parties beyond the actual individual or institutional investor.
Above all, you should choose a system that is configurable, so it works with your teams’ processes, rather than forcing your organization to follow a forced, unnatural workflow or user interface. Ultimately, these features, when deployed cohesively and following best practices gleaned from broad industry adoption, facilitate optimal data management, productivity, and collaboration across the entire organization. If you are interested in pursuing a new asset management system, contact one of our experts to see if Dynamo Software is right for you.