Don't Trip Over What's Behind You

Blog post Scott Decker 2023-02-05

I happened to notice this phrase on someone’s t-shirt the other day. I must admit, as I considered what I was reading, I almost bumped into someone in front of me. I was reflecting on the many ways those words impact my personal and professional life.

But the phrase rings true across the investment world too. For example, earlier today I had a conversation with an analyst who expressed frustration over the 50+ quarterly manager reviews that needed to get done. This was on top of the annual activities that must be completed to close last year out. She was overwhelmed and bogged down by manual tasks such as auditing the completeness of manager questionnaires, searching for information across different systems and downloading/uploading documents from emails and portals. These tasks are time-consuming and error-prone. She is left with little time for higher value activities, like gleaning insights and trends across data points, spotting potential risks, and maintaining a 360 view of fund managers. Already working long hours, it begs the question – how can asset owners look ahead when they must constantly look behind? It’s a never-ending game of catch-up.

Now let’s factor in the economy. We all feel it in the air. Asset owners need to double down on communication and monitoring during periods of uncertainty. The manager information that analysts are collecting becomes even more valuable as they look to track key insights and anomalies that may impact the portfolio. Data collection must go beyond “checking the box” on questionnaire responses to inform and drive action quickly. Without complete data at their fingertips in a format that is instantly searchable, the portfolio may be at risk. It will be important to prioritize the activities of the team to higher value initiatives, especially during a potential recession when the quality and completeness of manager information may impact investment decisions. This is not the time to play catch-up.

So, as you look to prepare for the new year and economic uncertainty by re-prioritizing higher-value activities of the team, consider automating information collection and leveraging data analytics in a way that can provide the actionable insights you need. Automated tools can be programmed to follow a consistent set of criteria and rules, which can help reduce the risk of errors or biases that could creep into the evaluation process. Better yet, find a solution that offers dynamic dashboards detailing question, manager, and portfolio benchmarking, including executive reporting and well as a complete audit trail. In some instances, it can free up more than 50% of your team’s time.

Bottom line, data automation and analytics are key to maximizing your team’s time and streamlining your due diligence processes. If you’re interested in learning more I’d love to connect, share examples, and provide additional information or case studies. Let’s talk.


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