Investor Relations Technology Stack Checklist
There are signs that the world will, in the months ahead, get a better handle on the COVID-19 pandemic through continued social distancing and other disease prevention measures, new treatments, and a vaccine. Even so, most private equity firms are coming to realize that there will likely be some lasting changes to how they conduct business.
Those changes—far fewer in-person meetings, for example—have created a number of operational challenges. One of the most pressing is finding a way to maintain strong relationships with investors in what has always been a very people-oriented industry. For many forward-looking firms, the answer is investing in a technology stack that supports meaningful interactions. This, of course, is a significant change for organizations that, in many cases, are still managing portfolios with spreadsheets.
However, LPs today are increasingly expecting easier and more complete access to information, both when deciding whether to invest in a fund and when managing their portfolio. As a result, firms that choose not to embrace technology will be at a competitive disadvantage.
On the other hand, firms that actively seek and implement the right tools will enjoy benefits in many areas.
Manage Investor Contact Information More Effectively
Attempting to keep track of investor information using emails and spreadsheets is inefficient at best, and in a worst-case scenario, can result in the loss of data that costs your firm business. In order to have clean, accurate, up-to-date information free of duplicate records and other unhelpful data, you need a purpose-built, centralized private equity CRM solution. In fact, this system shouldn’t just be a major component of your investor relations efforts, it should be the foundation for them.
A capital-markets-specific tool enables you to indicate investor communication preferences (email, LP portal, USPS) as part of your investor services workflow. This is essential, as how you reach out to investors can have a major impact on how receptive they are to your messaging.
A CRM like Altvia also helps your team build reports and segment lists based on factors like:
- When you most recently contact investors
- Investors who are committed to a specific fund
- The number of your emails that have been opened or engaged with
Email Communication for Investor Relations
Reach out to an investor just a little too late and they may have been lured away by another firm. Consequently, it’s important to have a system that generates personalized email templates and enables you to get high-quality communications out quickly. And while there are many email tools on the market today, you need a system that makes it easy to send industry-specific information like Capital Call notices, PPMs, K1s, and distribution notices.
A solution like Altvia Correspond Investor Edition gives you that capability along with powerful integration to your CRM. That seamless connection enables the automatic storing of information like details on email opens and click-throughs, which you can use to further tailor your communications. It can also be helpful during fundraising—a topic we’ve covered in this blog post here.
What to look for in a Data-Room & LP Portal
It’s common for investors to want more information in uncertain times. We saw this in the financial crisis of 2008 and are seeing it again with COVID-19. In fact, PEI surveyed 120 fund managers about their communications with investors and, not surprisingly, 61% said that LPs have been requesting more frequent reporting about their portfolio companies since the pandemic began.
What’s a better way to react to these requests instead of responding to each individually? Empowering investors to answer their own questions with a cutting-edge LP portal and data room like ShareSecure. Simple document sharing sites like Dropbox and DocuSign may work well for other industries, but they aren’t designed for the private capital industry.
A proper data portal must have enterprise-grade security to protect the sensitive data it holds—everything from documents to video files, which are more important than ever with COVID preventing in-person interactions. The portal should also give your firm a high degree of control over user permission customization and have digital signature functionality.
And perhaps most importantly, an LP portal should provide access to a visual dashboard where investors can check on fund performance and answer many of their own questions without having to contact your investor relations team.
Learn More About the Growing Importance of Private Equity Technology
Is your private equity technology stack providing your investor relations team with everything they need to optimize your investor services workflow and support current and future growth—during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond? Download our free guide, How Private Capital Firms Focus On An Excellent LP Experience.