by Cameron Nicol, Senior Marketing Manager – eVestment Private Markets
“Adapting to the Evolution of Private Markets”
On April 25th 2019 GPs and LPs joined eVestment Private Markets and Nasdaq at Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square, New York for an evening of insights and discussions on the key trends and perspectives that are driving the evolution of private markets fundraising, due diligence and operations.
Attendees were the first to learn about eVestment Private Markets’ new research findings on LP/GP due diligence practices, perspectives and expectations. The full report of research findings presented at our event will be released on our blog in the coming weeks; subscribe now to get it delivered straight to your inbox.
We were also honored to be joined by a guest panel of representatives from The Carlyle Group, Park Hill, and PwC to hear their perspectives on some of the biggest changes in the industry. Read on for three key takeaways from the discussion.
1. “Private Markets Fund Managers are Increasingly Getting Pushed for More Granular Data”
One of the key topics we explored with our panel was how has the market changed in terms of the need for, and use of, performance data. As one of our panelists observed, fund managers are increasingly getting pushed for more granular data that is “still driven by the investors”. They also highlighted that it’s not just the frequency of providing/receiving the data that has increased, but investors are now seeking more real-time access. Consequently, this is driving fund managers to think differently about how they are providing data: shifting from static LP portals that have been traditionally used for “providing documents on a quarterly basis” and instead leveraging technology that allows LPs a true analytics platform to “slice and dice data in real-time and extract it throughout their reporting and due diligence phases.” Speaking about this shift in data requirements, our panelist noted the correlation in increased operational overheads associated with facilitating this and how dedicated technology platforms can help to manage these costs.
2. “Data is a Strategic Advantage”
The sheer volume of data held by private markets firms has increased exponentially in a relatively short period of time, and as a panelist highlighted, “data is a strategic advantage”: the more data you have, in effect the more insights you can derive. However, this is not always the case as a fellow panelist recounted how they have experienced that if firms do not have the right tools, processes, or mindsets, this advantage can be lost – i.e. our panelist described how some firms are producing 500-page reports of “analysis” on valuations to review with a committee. Instead, our panel agreed that managers and investors that are really using data to its full capacity are “challenging their processes on what value they are providing today” and utilizing business intelligence tools to produce visualizations and charts in a digital medium, which allows them to “proactively look at trends, conduct on-the-fly portfolio reviews” and more.
Related Content: Managing Your Performance Data as an Asset
Watch our short on-demand webinar to explore best practices on how to manage your performance data as the asset it is, and gain an introduction to how the eVestment Private Markets platform can help you better harness, protect and leverage it.
3. “Working Towards a Nirvana”
It was clear from all questions and discussions on the panel that there is a tremendous desire across the private markets community to be able to harness and leverage data to help drive operational efficiencies and better decision making. This is certainly a marked shift in the industry and a move towards the level of data-driven decisions that public markets have been embracing for years. While the demand is there, our panel recognized that the industry still has a long way to go until more of the currently emerging technologies, such as Machine Learning and A.I., are adopted and commonplace.
“A.I. or Machine Learning… that is perhaps nirvana. That’s where I want to get to, but we’re not there yet.”