Leading Private Capital firms are harnessing data for competitive advantage

Every day, Private Capital firms around the globe rely on data to make informed decisions. Without meaningful insight, they would be flying blind. But how can GPs best make use of the immense amount of data available to them?

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the importance of data across a variety of industries. From technology to healthcare, access to high quality data has become essential in making decisions and achieving success. The Private Capital industry is no exception. Senior professionals are beginning to embrace data and its importance. Industry publication The Drawdown recently took a closer look at why data is becoming more important to fund managers and what it could mean for the future of the industry, featuring commentary from Billy Dix, head of digital strategy consulting at Holland Mountain, alongside industry professionals Steve Darrington, partner and CFO at Phoenix Equity Partners, and Sam Metland of Citco.

The pivotal role of data in Private Capital

Private Capital firms have always relied on data. They use data to make investment decisions, to report to their investors and to evaluate fund performance. However, the role of data has increased significantly in recent years as the industry has become more competitive. To stay ahead of the curve, GPs must now proactively seek to use data and advanced analytics to gain better insights, identify opportunities and make better informed decisions.

This transition to a data-driven culture hasn’t always been easy. Within the article, Billy Dix comments, “A lot of firms are still working on their culture when it comes to data. The data strategy is typically driven by digital teams and the rest of the organisation is still getting on board. But there is a lot more discussion internally on data ownership; who owns it and who is responsible for quality.”

Some information can be obtained through financial statements, but firms typically combine this with data from other sources to get a more complete picture. Dix explains, “There are all of these sources of data out there which anyone can pay to get, but a firm’s ability to integrate that data and analyse it alongside in-house propriety information is where competitive advantage is achieved. The data provider landscape is moving so fast you need to react quickly.”

How Private Capital firms use data

Private Capital firms need to have a clear understanding of the companies they are considering investing in. They also use data to track the performance of their investments and to make decisions about when to sell their stake in a company. By using data to supplement decision-making, firms can reduce risk and increase returns. In short, data is essential for Private Capital firms at every stage of the investment process.

As data becomes increasingly important within the industry, more firms are making use of it to stay ahead of the competition. Dix believes the triggers are often when firms have had a close call. “[Embracing data] often happens after something has gone wrong, then it’s easier to see the right way to go about harnessing data; linking the importance of data quality and linking systems together.”

The Drawdown article also touches on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which played a significant role in escalating data as a top priority for Private Capital firms. “Firms can see where there might be siloes and they want to have all their knowledge in one place. That needs the right controls and process, and then the reporting to make it accessible – so how and why you use it. Doing that changes the culture; that’s where people have a light bulb moment,” adds Dix.

Using data to deliver faster employee insight into individual worth and future earnings

One specific use case where some of the leading Private Capital firms are harnessing data to their advantage is carry plans. For many GPs, whilst carry and co-investment plans should drive greater employee retention, they can require significant manual effort to process and report on large volumes of complex data. Often, plans lack scalability due to use of spreadsheets, which are ineffective and lead to poor quality, unreliable data.

Within The Drawdown article, Dix explains, “To be able to report to partners there are so many different types of information needed from lots of different places; from the fund, from HR, portfolio monitoring and so on. It has for so long been too painful and manual, so having a data solution that can pull all of this information together is life changing,” says Dix.

What are the potential benefits of the ATLAS Carry Plans solution?

  • Streamline carry plan administration, with fewer errors, reduction in ad hoc queries and ability to control sensitive data in-house
  • Provide employees with a better understanding of overall compensation, reducing employee turnover
  • Improve firm-wide performance by clearly aligning employee rewards with company objectives

Combining industry expertise with transformational technology, the ATLAS Carry Plans solution is suitable for all alternative asset classes.

To find out more and book your demo, please get in touch.