Planned or unplanned, formalized or ad hoc, every business communicates with clients in some way. For years, asset management firms routinely churned out cookie-cutter accounting and investment reports and other communications to stakeholders. Little thought was given to the format, frequency, accessibility, delivery medium or other individual needs of the recipient.
While this might have served the industry well even five years ago, now — as Bob Dylan would say — “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”
For one thing, increased competition, particularly in private equity, means firms have to do more to attract investors. High-profile scandals like Madoff have had an impact as well, by shifting investors’ priorities. While returns are still important, reputation and trust weigh more heavily than ever before in the decision to select one firm over another.
Optimizing Integration and Customization
Many firms spend considerable time developing complicated spreadsheets in Excel that they are loath to abandon when integrating an accounting and reporting system into their operation. As a result, they continue to juggle between applications, never completely breaking free of spreadsheets or reaping the benefits of full integration.
An optional module — FC Custom Control — is ideal for firms that seek maximum report customization, integration with complex legacy spreadsheets or highly complex functions or calculations. While FundCount’s reporting flexibility and breadth of financial functions is unparalleled, FC Custom Control takes these capabilities to another level through Excel integration that effectively makes it part of FundCount.
Custom Control enables a firm to use Excel to build reports and then integrate its design and calculation results within FundCount. Over 800 Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs) allow for the data to be used in other applications and databases. FC Custom Control has been used to develop complex waterfall calculations, exotic management fees and other specialized calculations that with the click of your mouse instantly populate FundCount’s database. When appropriate, results from custom reports or custom functions may be used to create transactions, all of which can be seamlessly integrated into FundCount with complete audit tracking.
With access via FundCount’s Web Services protocol in the upcoming release, Custom Control queries can be programmed to generate automatically from within a user’s internal applications, as an alternative to creating, scheduling and utilizing export files. More flexible access options make it even easier to get the exact information that is needed, when and how it is needed.
Contact us to learn more about Custom Control, its APIs and access to FundCount’s Web Services.
Reflections on “Family Journeys”
FundCount was recently a sponsor of the Family Office Exchange (FOX) Fall Forum, with its theme of “Family Journeys.” Major themes revolved around the need for family offices to become more rigorous in their organization and processes, and how to acknowledge or adapt to the concerns or preferences of younger generations. A “sub-theme” was the increase in direct investing and more control of investing generally that family offices are doing. This was supported by FOX research comparing a 2017 study with 2014 showing a big increase in direct investing.
The family office of the Anderson family (Anderson Windows), the HRK Group, spoke about how they transformed an office culture by applying a corporate approach to every aspect of the office’s operation. This included strategic direction, governance and policy, financial and management oversight, staff oversight and accountability.
Several sessions referred to the transformation being driven by younger generations taking the reins of family wealth. This has resulted in increased demand for new technology and greater self-reliance. For instance, they are investing more on their own, without advisors, and doing more direct investing in businesses or new ventures.
FundCount has recognized these trends in building into our software the ability to account for and analyze virtually every public or private investment type, and offer communication tools that “speak” to each type of user. We appreciated the opportunity to interact with over 300 family office executives (and family members) at the FOX Fall Forum.
November 9, 2017
HFM Boston Operational Leaders Summit, Boston, MA
FundCount is proud to be a sponsor of this exclusive hedge fund summit. Join us for a roundtable discussion led by FundCount’s own Mike Slemmer, COO, Americas, entitled, “Tackling Technology: Selection, Implementation & Security.”
Founded in 1999, FundCount provides integrated accounting and investment analysis software that improves operational efficiency and delivers immediate, actionable intelligence to clients around the globe. Today, over 100 hedge funds, single and multi-family offices, fund administrators and private equity firms worldwide with assets totaling more than US $75 billion rely on FundCount for accurate, timely information and flexible reporting. FundCount supports its growing client base from the company’s U.S. headquarters and three additional international locations.