Why alternative asset managers need a tech-enabled command center

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This article was originally published by the Puget Sound Business Journal. To read the original, click here.

 

Have you ever noticed how many scenes in science fiction and military movies take place in a command center? Whether it’s a fictional character like Captain Kirk aboard the USS Enterprise or a real-life crisis unfolding in the White House situation room, the command center plays a critical role during high stakes situations that require a rapid, coordinated response.

 

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that acting quickly and decisively is critical for success.

 

For investors and alternative asset managers, a best-in-class command center is simply a cloud-based platform that functions as a single source of truth, providing real time information, analysis, and visualizations of the people, assets, and opportunities the firm has in its arsenal.

 

As the world continues to change at breakneck speed, we’ve seen time and again that asset managers who can make data-driven decisions in real time are the one who are best positioned to capitalize on opportunities, and that it’s always operationally-efficient firms who prevail in the face of uncertainty. Over the past few years we’ve seen a growing divergence in firms’ ability to integrate data across their organization and Covid-19 has significantly accelerated this trend. Increasingly, alternative asset managers are realizing that they need a command center to truly compete in today’s deal making environment.

 

Best-in-class asset managers already view their business development professionals not just as negotiators and dealmakers, but also something akin to data scientists. As dependency on third-party and proprietary data reporting, analysis, and visualization grows, technology that enables data collection and manipulation becomes mission critical. Relying on spreadsheets and email attachments just doesn’t cut it anymore. In fact, in addition to data collection and centralization, industry leaders are finding ways to automate redundant tasks like data entry and report generation, which further increases both efficiency and data ingestion.

 

I’m quite fond of the command center analogy because it encapsulates the vision I had when I started developing DealCloud 10 years ago. I was working in private equity at the time and realized I was wasting a significant amount of time trying to find data that was scattered across a host of siloed platforms and spreadsheets. So to give capital markets firms a technological edge I always dreamed of, I purpose-built DealCloud to be the command center for all information regarding deals, intermediaries, and other deal sources.

 

As competition increases, dry powder climbs to record levels and LPs increasingly demand greater transparency and accountability from fund managers, the need to harness technology to create a centralized command center is now more important than ever. While you may feel that implementing such an approach is a lot of work when things are going “just fine,” the costs of falling further behind amid an environment of increased competition and uncertainty will undoubtedly come back to haunt the firms who choose to stand pat while their peers invest in a more modern and more powerful solution.

 

If you would like to learn more about how DealCloud can help your firm create a connected and collaborative command center, check out this webinar.

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Author:

Ben Harrison

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