William Arthur Ward observed, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” To say the least, 2020 brought the equivalent of a violent storm across the globe. At Backstop, we are here to help you adjust your sails through all of this turbulence so you can surge ahead in 2021. Let’s consider just one of the many trends that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated: the move to a remote, flexible work model.
A survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) from June 2020 shows a dramatic shift in the number of professionals working remotely for at least part of the work week, going from 39% before the pandemic to 77% during the pandemic. Plus, the survey reveals that there is a general expectation across the business community that the effect of this shift is going to remain even after the pandemic.
The trend toward a remote, flexible working environment was present before COVID; COVID simply drove the trend forward exponentially faster. There are many reasons behind the trend, summarized in the graphic below:
But remote working is not without a cost. It can introduce new stressors on the systems, processes, and structures of your institutional investment organization. For example:
- Is information about your clients, prospects, investments, and managers readily accessible to all your employees, whatever location they are working from?
- Can you verify that your standardized processes and practices are being adhered to when people work remotely?
- Do you have confidence in teams and coworkers that their work is being completed in a timely manner?
- Do you have the real-time data you need to make sound and timely strategic decisions?
- How do you move from Excel to a more streamlined collaboration and sharing of information between team members who are all working in different locations?
Backstop has been hard at work to enable you to overcome these challenges and maximize the benefits of a remote work environment. Here are six specific solutions we released within the past year.
1. CAPITAL RAISING DASHBOARDS FOR ASSET MANAGERS:
First, we launched our newly-integrated Capital-Raising Dashboards. Our CR Dashboards give you the real-time data, analytics, and insights you need to understand the performance of your business and the performance of the teams that are driving your business forward. With enhanced, data-driven decision-making, you gain the ability to focus the right resources on the right opportunities at the right time.
To learn more, download the Backstop Capital Raising Dashboards solution brief.
2. PIPELINE MANAGER FOR ASSET MANAGERS:
Second, because wrestling pipeline data from multiple spreadsheets on shared drives is an inefficient way to raise capital, we now offer Pipeline Manager. With Pipeline Manager, you and your business development team can get out of spreadsheet purgatory and view pipeline information directly, slicing and dicing data by team member, geography, lead source, expected close date, opportunity stage probability, and more.
Learn more about Pipeline Manager by visiting the Backstop Capital-Raising Solutions page.
3. ADMIN CONNECT FOR ASSET MANAGERS:
A tailored and holistic solution designed to deliver accurate, timely data into the Backstop platform, data that combined with our powerful Report Builder, delivers actionable insights. The Backstop platform can provide immediate access to Performance Reporting, Capital Activity and Investor Balance information, helping you focus on strategic objectives. When you choose Backstop Admin Connect, your investor relations process can become more agile, streamlined and operationally efficient. The ability to be agile and move quickly has never been more important than in the current business landscape and we’re proud to be able to offer the latest cloud-based solutions to our clients during this time so that they can focus on their business.
See how we can help you by watching the Backstop Admin Connect video.
4. RESEARCH AND DATA TO SUPPORT IDD/ODD FOR ALLOCATORS:
Third, since we work in a world where data quantity and data flow is increasing at a growing rate, we want you to be able to readily leverage data from external sources. That is the only way you can stay ahead. We have therefore made a sizable investment in new approaches for incorporating external data into Backstop, and in partnerships that will unlock greater insights for you. For example, we have a new alliance with Mercer, which enables us to deliver Mercer’s global manager research, data, and ratings directly to you. For our manager clients, we are expanding the datasets available, including those on infrastructure and private debt funds. We are also looking into getting data from Morningstar Research. As always with Backstop, all this data is centralized and readily accessible to everyone on your team, regardless of where they may be working.
Access the Mercer-Backstop brochure.
5. STRAIGHT-THROUGH PROCESSING OF DOCUMENTS AND TRANSACTIONS FOR ALLOCATORS:
Fourth, to further boost efficiency and productivity in the remote work environment, we have shifted the burden of processing documents away from your teams with Backstop IntellX. Backstop IntellX automatically searches for and downloads fund documents from email and web portal sources. Using robust machine learning capabilities and sophisticated document classification methods, documents are then dynamically classified, tagged, translated, and filed in the Backstop platform. Since you receive hundreds or thousands of documents every year, Backstop IntellX enables your team members to eliminate this “grunt work” and spend significantly more time engaged in valuable core activities.
Download the Backstop IntellX datasheet.
6. MULTI-ASSET CLASS SUPPORT FOR ALLOCATORS:
Last, but certainly not least, we are streamlining your access to rich information datasets with our Multi-Asset Class Research (MACR) module. MACR enables Investment and Operations teams to rapidly and effortlessly track research and due diligence on any asset class and any manager. With sophisticated explorer tools, you gain the ability to find, filter, and summarize data across hundreds or thousands of records. Currently, we have optimized the tools to filter up to ten thousand records in less than five seconds. Our next milestone is to optimize up to fifty thousand records. With MACR, you can find the data you need when you need it with a single click.
Watch the Backstop Multi-Asset Class Research Management System (RMS) video to learn more.
With all these solutions at your fingertips, you can maximize your team’s productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness in a remote, flexible work environment. No matter what changes the new year brings, Backstop will help you adjust your sails to surge ahead on the wings of the wind.