Author: Chris Andraca
Prospective investors are often made aware of private funds via documents like a fund prospectus, or other marketing documents.
Funds are formalized via subscription documents with investors, and they are managed via a variety of documents like Capital Statements, K-1 tax documents, and Capital Calls.
Despite the importance of these documents, the alternative investment industry is completely fragmented in how it handles the storage and distribution of key documents with its investors. We talk to fund administrators, private banks, and fund managers all the time here at BaseVenture, and we rarely hear the same method being used twice.
The typical fund administrator, private bank, or fund manager stakeholder uses a mix of physical filing cabinets, digital folders on laptops, web portals, as well as a smattering of cloud storage providers to manage and distribute documents to their investors. This quickly becomes a complicated puzzle to solve, because stakeholders need to be able to recall which avenue they used for a specific document, and then remember how to get to that document.
Additionally, these documents are typically standalone, meaning that they aren’t integrated or connected in any way with other key documents. This results in documents that don’t provide any additional level of intelligence to help make them become (re)usable in other areas in the process of managing a fund.
The situation is actually worse for the most important “stakeholder” there is – the investor! The investor might be required to receive documents via several different avenues. A subscription document might come via overnight courier, whereas a Capital Statement might come via a web portal, and a marketing document might come via an email.
There is typically no uniformity used across document types, and the investor is often left to their own devices to respond as necessary to the document no matter which avenue was used to get it to them. This typically involves numerous logins with multiple usernames and passwords across web portals, encrypted emails, and cloud storage providers.
Our aim at BaseVenture is to radically streamline and simplify critically important operational processes such as this one. Storing and distributing important alternative investment documents should not be this complicated. Our FundManager.io offering unifies all documents onto one platform, and importantly, gives the investor a single
method to access and act upon any key document for the private fund.
We start by giving the fund administrator, private bank, and fund manager a secure document vault where they can easily upload and store key documents. Unlike electronic laptop folders, or the usual cloud storage providers, our document vault was built specifically for the alternative investment industry.
This means that everything about the experience of uploading and storing documents is completely designed to prompt for relevant factors for the fund administrator, private bank, and fund manager. Our vault includes robust tagging and taxonomy that accounts for named documents like Capital Statements, K-1 tax forms, and more.
This tagging truly turns a document into useful data, whereby powerful filtering and grouping can be done across document type, investor, entity, time periods, and more. Equally as important, because these documents are now data, they add a level of intelligence that can be applied to other key areas, such as pre-populating new documents, and enhancing reporting.
Sharing and accessing these documents by any stakeholder involved is extremely simple. A flexible permission system enables access to users as defined by the appropriate stakeholders. So, a fund manager can enable access for an investor to only those documents that are for that specific investor, while a fund administrator or private bank can enable access for fund managers and/or other service provider partners to documents pertaining only to those investors that belong to that specific fund manager.
Sharing a document by any stakeholder is done in a single manner – simply click on the “share” button and complete the step. And of course documents don’t have to be confined only to be viewed online, they can be downloaded and printed anytime as well.
Importantly, security is also much more robust. Rather than relying on unsecure email Inboxes, etc., we employ the same security in our platform that is seen in other mainstream applications like mobile banking. The user has one username/password combination to remember, or we can integrate with the existing login process that a fund administrator, private bank, or fund manager utilizes for its investors. Documents that are uploaded are protected within the secure vault.
Here at BaseVenture we are all about helping simplify the lives of fund administrators, private banks, and fund managers by reducing the time that they spend on operations so that they can spend more time generating growth.
We believe that it’s time to give all the stakeholders involved in the private fund industry – be they fund administrators, private banks, fund managers, and especially investors, the freedom to stop dumpster diving in their email Inboxes, filing cabinets, and typical storage providers to handle document upload and distribution.