The due diligence process is an integral part of the investment process and customized DDQs are becoming more commonly requested by investors.
Manager Series: Streamlining Investor Relations
As transparency becomes a greater requirement, from both investors and regulators, GPs and managers need to find creative ways of responding to data requests quickly and easily.
Diligend launched Diligend Respond earlier this year, a new platform that allows manager and GP Investor Relations (IR) teams to respond to ever-changing investor needs. We know the IR role is vital – yet answering the same DDQ questions, again and again, can be inefficient and monotonous.
Investor Communications Are More Important Than Ever
Today, investor communications are more important than ever before. At every stage of the investment process, whether fundraising, or updating on portfolio performance, investors are accustomed to receiving answers to their queries and data requests near instantaneously. As a result, GPs and managers need to efficiently and quickly meet investor requests for data if they are to stand out from the competition and secure, or maintain investment.
While the basic principles of IR haven’t changed in more than three decades, investor interactions continue to evolve and shift alongside advancing technology.
The evolution of Investor Relations
Over the past thirty years, we’ve moved from the age of paper, when we kept our contacts in a Rolodex, to the early internet age of emails and PDFs, and then to the cloud age, where more of us started using SaaS solutions like CRMs and other investment tools. Now, we’re heading into the digital transformation age.
Fund managers at all levels are assessing their technological communication capabilities to keep up with their investors’ needs. Tech solutions can also help digitise and streamline repetitive tasks, provide easy to understand data analytics, and improve data security.
Two challenges in Investor Relations – transparency and consistency
As the alternative and private equity investor-engagement model rapidly changes, managers and GPs must adhere to evolving regulations and respond to increasing investor demands. Regulators and investors want more transparency, and it’s up to managers and GPs to respond. Couple this with increasing pressures to provide data that shows how responsibly investments are being made, even for non-ESG investment vehicles, and managers and GPs have a huge job to do.
Investors are more diverse than ever before, and they have complex and sophisticated requirements. That means that IR teams must rely more heavily on their compliance and investment teams to ensure DDQs and data responses are accurate. We’ve noticed two key challenges: transparency and consistency. Namely, investors want more of both.
- More Transparency – Many institutional investors are now focused on operational due diligence, responding to societal demands, boards or shareholder pressures. ESG and Diversity data is hotly in demand, particularly in the private markets. Our platform responds directly to this requirement, making it easy for institutional investors to ask for the exact data points they need then flag, manage and analyze in specific ESG or diversity dashboards.
- More Consistency – Investors are asking for more data standardization and consistency so they can easily assess information and gain more meaningful insights. If managers and GPs provide the data in a variety of formats, investor due diligence teams have to standardize it before they can even start to analyse it. A platform that can provide due diligence data to investors in a standardized format that is easy to download or ingest into their own systems, will be invaluable.
Diligend Respond - our manager platform makes it faster and easier to respond to DDQs and RFPs
We’ve recently released a DDQ response platform for managers and GPs to automate responses to any investor DDQ or RFP quickly and easily in any format. We noticed that many investor DDQs and RFPs ask the same questions in a slightly different way, and when we talked to managers, found that you were responding to 5 – 20 DDQs or RFPs every month. Some responses were taking up to 3 days to complete. That’s a lot of valuable investor relations time. So we found a way to cut your response time drastically.
Powerful Word add-in
It’s simple – you can either use the web-based app or open up a DDQ or RFP in Microsoft Word. Next, you just open the Diligend Add-In that sits alongside the Word document. From the Word Add-In, managers can click a button to populate a list of suggested relevant responses from the bank of past and saved responses. The level of accuracy will be shown, allowing your team to see if further revisions may be needed.
Q&A banks can be cumbersome to maintain. Diligend Respond searches through all previous responses too, whether they are in the Q&A bank or not. It selects the most appropriate answers for you and allows you to check them for accuracy.
Rather than spending your time manually responding to RFPs and DDQs, you can free up your time to invest more time building strong investor relationships. With smart response auto-suggestions, it’s easier than ever to turn RFPs and DDQs around quickly.
Onboard new IR team members seamlessly
When all the knowledge is in a single team member's head, it can be hard to maintain consistency. Onboarding new team members means training and knowledge transfer. With the right technology in place, all the past responses are easily accessible, the approved data is at hand and can be inserted into DDQs, RFPs and client reports with a single click.
Equip your IR team with tools that help them do their jobs better
Technology continues to change the game when it comes to IR. Remember – your investors are looking for quick and accurate responses to their data requests. Diligend Respond, our Manager Platform is just one innovation that can help you streamline your IR processes and respond to data requests without recruiting new team members.
Get in touch to organize a demo to see how it could help your business improve investor relations.