The alternative investment industry has experienced exceptional growth since the financial crisis. With this tremendous growth, the industry has seen its investors become more and more sophisticated over time, regulatory reporting requirements increase, and the need to be able to provide flexible real-time reporting across an entire structure has become a focal point and major expenditure.
After approaching the reporting problem through tactical solutions and tailoring it to simply satisfy individual stakeholder’s needs, asset managers have realized they need to resolve the reporting problem from the bottom up in order to gain the competitive advantage that will allow them to continue their growth, as the industry heads towards the mainstream retail market. Every vendor system and workflow decision is now carefully measured against the required list of capabilities.
How has the focus in reporting evolved? Initially, the main goal for any startup fund was to provide the Portfolio Management Team the appropriate tools to make good investment decisions and grow the portfolio with a secondary focus to solve operational, accounting, and investor reporting needs. After the financial crisis, risk reporting became the next major focus, and managers pushed to bring in risk vendors to get the risk data and reporting to effectively manage their book.
While most funds now at this point had the data available to them somewhere within their organization, they weren’t able to pull it all together in an effective and efficient way. The next challenge was integrating all of the data points to become an efficient, lean organization, while still being able to offer their investors and regulatory bodies the transparency they needed and required.
This shift has now brought on the need to look at data warehousing, integration, awareness, and validation. Managers should target reporting by designing their data flow to be flexible enough to deliver information to multiple stakeholders in a timely fashion while being able to tailor it accordingly.
Gravitas assists large funds in identifying and implementing vendors, streamlining their workflows, and achieving their reporting needs across all core functions. Having the appropriate design makes managers more efficient in so many ways.
Flavia Kannaley is a lead business analyst and project manager for the business consulting group at Gravitas. She is mainly responsible for providing consulting services with respect to vendor selection implementations, operational risk assessments, business process reengineering, as well as Risk Technology evaluations, vendor selections, and implementations. Prior to joining Gravitas, Flavia was Vice President at BNY Mellon, where she was a Relationship Manager in Fund Administration, part of the Transaction Management Group (TMG). There, she worked on multiple high profile fund administration clients and deals, including custom implementations of the Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP), sponsored by the US Treasury with nine participating asset managers, as well as the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), a program created by the Federal Reserve.