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Your Private Equity Firm Figured Out How To Operate From Home. Now What?

In an intensely analytical business heavily reliant on a large number of low-touch, high-powered relationships, you need more than just Zoom to juggle priorities.  While managing crises with LPs and portfolio companies, you also have to look for immediate opportunities with cash-strapped businesses or ones you recently passed on.

Getting your information organized and actionable is key. Here are some areas that are prime candidates for digitization:

Leverage broader network for deals – In addition to traditional channels of deal flow, it is time to maximize your network to source deals. You need a process framework for capturing valuable data around all types of relationships. Advisers, industry experts, lawyers, consultants, bankers, ex-CEOs and others could all play a useful role for deal insights and referrals few others are seeing. By tracking and analyzing these relationships at an institutional level, you can cultivate your most rewarding referral channels while uncovering common connections for warm intros to target companies.

Digitize deal evaluation – To coordinate the team’s efforts, multiple emails and conference calls are just inefficient. You can easily solve this problem by using your deal platform to assign tasks, attach documents, and set deadlines. During final due diligence, instead of sending separate emails to your consultants, lawyers, accountants, you can assign them tasks directly within the deal platform, and they can log into the same system to upload or edit documents (and you have more visibility into their work).

Stay close to investors – In a time of economic turmoil, investors need greater insights into the fund performance and reassuring touchpoints on a more regular basis, even as they have other priorities of their own to attend to. A digitized communication strategy ensures that no investor slips through the cracks. You should track all investor touchpoints across the firm to derive actionable insights – knowing who has not been touched in the last month, who is most at risk for declining a re-up, and which outreach strategy was most effective in securing commitments. In addition, you can continuously measure your engagement with the wider LP network to develop nurturing strategies.

Keep everyone productive – With an entirely remote workforce, how do you ensure that your people are focusing on the right priorities? If the firm’s focus is on creating a wider business development funnel for deal sourcing, then you should have visibility into your staff’s outreach progress against their weekly or monthly quotas. If John the associate is not meeting his assigned goals, you can leverage the time-tracking functionality within your deal platform to understand where he’s spending his time, and adjust his responsibilities accordingly.

Incorporate document management – Working remote means discussions that lead to a decision must be captured in writing, so everyone understands each other’s analysis and thinking. Implement an integrated document management tool within your deal platform to track all edits/comments and maintain version control. Whether it’s creating the investment committee presentation or LOI, colleagues can collaborate in real-time, and the latest version of any document is attached to the deal process itself.

Not sure where to begin? Contact me at ccao@navatargroup.com.

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