With fundraising continuing to challenge private market firms, enhancing the investor experience has emerged as an important differentiator. Currently, investors navigate a mixed landscape of operational processes that can impact their engagement and satisfaction levels. 

We saw a growing demand among our GP clients to optimise the investor experience – from onboarding to investor queries and portal experience – to stand out and foster enduring investor relationships. 

This article delves into common pitfalls and strategic recommendations for refining the investor experience process and provide a holistic view of the relationship to the investor relations team. 

Offer a simple and clear onboarding experience

The problem

During the onboarding process, LPs often grapple with repetitive tasks, such as the uploading of numerous documents and navigating complex jurisdictional requirements. These cumbersome processes can significantly hamper the onboarding experience, potentially deterring LP commitment in an already challenging fundraising environment. 

How to improve it

To enhance this crucial first step, firms face two possible choices; outsource the process or digitalise it in-house. While outsourcing offers a hands-off approach, satisfaction levels with service providers can vary – we rarely see firms happy with their outsource providers.  

On the other hand, building an in-house digital solution using a combination of online forms and AI-driven document review features can streamline the experience. Ultimately, the onboarding should be tailored to meet the diverse expectations of both large and small LPs. The evolving landscape of technological solutions, including AI, offers promising avenues to address the nuances of onboarding, making it a more efficient and investor-friendly process. 

For GPs who accept retail investors, specific tools can help manage a much larger number of investors, reducing the reliance on the GP – and some tools even have marketplaces for retail investors to opt in to funds without requiring attention from the GP.   

Integration with your CRM

Finally, we recommend integrating the onboarding process with the CRM. The Investor Relations team will then be able to review the onboarding progress of each investor and ensure timely investor engagement before fund closings. 

 

Make investor portals easy to interact with

The problem

The investor portal experience often falls short, marred by challenges such as multi-factor authentication and inconsistent portal access across different funds – even logging in can be a challenge! At the same time, we see a growing desire from LPs asking for more insights in the form of dashboards that provide forecasts and detailed performance insights. 

How to improve it

The key to addressing these challenges lies in providing a unified, seamless portal experience that meets the diverse needs of all LPs, regardless of their size. This approach should focus on simplifying access and enhancing user engagement, rather than attempting to overhaul the system entirely.

Integration with your CRM

It is also important to integrate portal analytics with your CRM. It can offer insights into how investors interact with documents, allowing relationship managers to engage proactively e.g. an investor engaging with the marketing materials from a new fund. Additionally, the seamless synchronisation of contact and company data from CRM to portal ensures proper permission management. You should consider a data platform, like our own ATLAS data platform, that feeds data into dashboards and aligns with the CRM in a two-way sync to provide a scalable platform. 

Looking ahead, we’re approaching the day where LPs request API integrations for direct data feeds into their system. It’s critical to get the data structure and associated processes right now to pre-empt the change. 

 

Manage investor queries efficiently

The problem

Managing investor queries can quickly become an overwhelming task for GPs, given the sheer volume and diversity of queries received across various communication channels. This fragmentation often results in a lack of a unified view for the investor relations team, hindering the ability to provide consistent and accurate responses. 

How to improve it

The implementation of advanced systems, including those supported by AI technologies, is deemed crucial. There exists a myriad of systems within the market capable of fulfilling the requirements. Such systems can aggregate queries, apply categories, and even suggest standardised responses based on contextual data. This not only ensures consistency across the team but also enhances the efficiency of the response process. Selecting the right technology vendors is crucial, as they provide solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of GPs.

Integration with your CRM

Moreover, integrating these systems with existing CRM platforms is essential. It offers the investor relations team a comprehensive overview of each investor’s history, including past queries and responses, fostering a more informed and personalised engagement strategy. 

 

After all, how important is investor experience?

Historically, investor relation teams historically relied on building direct relationships with investors, often overlooking the role of technology.  Private markets are becoming increasingly more competitive, and the state of fundraising pressures firms with uncertainty.  

The commitment of LPs to a fund is more and more linked to their experience; therefore, focusing on sophisticated, investor-friendly practices is essential for fostering long-term relationships.  

Such measures not only streamline operations but also significantly improve the quality of service delivered, making it an indispensable strategy for firms aiming to scale their AUM. 

 

Interested in learning more? Speak to our experts and improve your investor experience.

Our team of specialists can you help you plan and implement processes to offer a seamless investor experience, while optimising your operations. Get in touch with us for an initial chat.

By Christopher Vilhelmsen

March 15th, 2024

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