A recent Preqin report looking at trends for the year ahead highlighted the importance of technology for private equity firms in 2024.
As PE firms embark on selecting tools and software, five crucial factors should guide the decision-making process. This article breaks down these factors and explains why they are indispensable for a seamless and productive private equity operation.
1. Delivering a Great End-User Experience
Is it mobile-friendly?
A mobile-friendly interface is no longer a luxury but a necessity. In an era where flexibility and mobility are paramount, the ability to access and manage deals on the go can make or break the user experience.
Data from Katipult DealFlow shows that 68% of platform users browse deal rooms on mobile devices, and over 50% sign documents electronically on mobile devices.
Are steps in processes clear? (i.e., how good is the UX/UI?)
A clear and intuitive user experience (UX/UI) is essential for navigating complex processes effortlessly. Clear steps and well-designed interfaces enhance productivity, reduce errors, and improve a positive user experience.
Are you presenting deals in the best way possible?
Effective deal presentation is crucial for capturing investor attention. The software should offer dynamic and visually appealing ways to showcase deals, ensuring that potential investors are engaged and well-informed.
Are you making it easy for investors to create accounts when onboarding?
Simplified and user-friendly onboarding processes are fundamental for attracting and retaining investors. Complicated or lengthy account creation procedures can discourage potential investors, impacting the growth of your investor base.
Katipult customers who use DealFlow Accounts have seen significant improvements in both the time to onboard customers and a notable reduction in the attrition of prospective customers needing to complete the account setup due to complicated forms and processes.
Does it give you the compliance support you need?
Compliance is non-negotiable in private equity. Ensure that your software provides robust support for compliance requirements, minimizing risks and instilling confidence in investors and regulatory authorities.
Look for private equity software and solutions that use automated KYC and AML tools and secure document vaults to project investor data.
2. Importance of Integration Points
Efficient integration points are the backbone of a well-connected private equity operation. Here's why they matter:
Seamless Data Flow:
Integration points facilitate the smooth exchange of data between your private equity software and other systems within your organization, such as CRM, ticketing, or data synchronization. Whether using Zapier for connections to financial platforms like Fidelity or Dataphile or popular CRM solutions like HubSpot, Salesforce, or Zoho, seamless integration ensures data consistency and accuracy across platforms.
Time and Resource Savings:
Streamlined integration reduces the need for manual data entry and minimizes the risk of errors, saving valuable time and resources. Doing so extends to integration with transfer agents and custodians, such as Envsion, SS&C, Phoenix American, or JTC, ensuring a cohesive data flow between private equity operations and these external entities.
Integration points foster collaboration by connecting different departments and functions. This includes integrating KYC/AML partners such as Trulioo effortlessly for private equity firms.
Integrating with KYC/AML partners adds an extra layer of efficiency and security to your operations by ensuring compliance and meeting due diligence requirements.
Selecting a Private Equity Software with Integration in Mind:
When evaluating private equity software, inquire about integration with external entities and systems. Consider the following:
Ensure the software provides robust Application Programming Interface (API) support for seamless integration with other systems, including popular CRM solutions, financial platforms, and back-office data systems.
Verify compatibility with existing tools, databases, and third-party applications your firm relies on, such as transfer agents and custodians. Can the software seamlessly integrate with platforms like Envision, SS&C, Phoenix American, or JTC for transfer agents?
Look for a solution that offers flexibility in configuring integration points to meet your needs, whether connecting with KYC/AML partners, financial platforms, or industry-specific transfer agents.
By prioritizing configurability and integration points, particularly with external entities and systems like transfer agents and KYC/AML partners, in your private equity software selection, you lay the foundation for a connected, efficient, and future-ready operational framework.
3. Improve Scalability
Will you see efficiencies and operational benefits from the software?
Private equity software should be a catalyst for operational excellence. Look for features that promise tangible efficiencies and productivity gains, ultimately contributing to the overall success of your firm.
A digital transformation program benefits investors and can make enormous differences in firms' operations. One Katipult customer saw the time to close out deals reduce by 80% by digitizing the processes for investors to participate in deals.
Does it give you the tools to automate and digitize manual processes?
Automation and digitization are central to modernizing private equity operations. A robust software solution should provide tools to automate repetitive tasks and digitize manual processes, freeing up valuable time for strategic decision-making.
Identifying all the business areas and processes in a PE firm that could improve with technology could be long and arduous, and buyers risk losing momentum as they search for an all-encompassing system. Modular platforms enabling firms to solve problems systematically may offer a more flexible approach than a ‘big-bang’ reset.
Can the product be set up to work with your firm?
Configurability is vital for tailoring the software to your firm's specific needs. A one-size-fits-all solution may not align with your unique processes and requirements. Seamless integration is crucial for a cohesive and connected ecosystem. Look for software with the right integration points to facilitate smooth communication between various platforms.
Balancing a white-label system versus an off-the-shelf platform
Consider whether a white-label system or a generic, off-the-shelf platform aligns better with your branding and customization needs. A white-label solution allows extensive customization to reflect your brand identity, while a generic platform may offer a quicker setup.
|Processes configured specifically to firm
|Platform branded for each firm
|Personalized customer support
|Modular configuration in line with business requirements
|Potential customer familiarity with the platform
5. Customer Success and Support
Are you choosing software from a vendor that will give you the support to succeed?
Vendor support is a critical factor in ensuring the ongoing success of your private equity operations. A reliable support system should be readily available to address any issues, provide guidance, and ensure that you maximize the software's potential.
Consider if the vendor will offer personalized support for setting up the platform within the firm and providing dedicated training sessions for business stakeholders to ensure they are successful. Also, look for vendors with experience with capital markets firms' specific needs rather than purely software development.
In conclusion, finding the right private equity software involves carefully considering factors beyond mere functionality. Prioritize an excellent end-user experience, streamlined onboarding processes, productivity gains, configurability, and robust customer support. By doing so, you are not just selecting software but laying the foundation for a successful and future-proof private equity operation.