In many respects, private markets are late to the party. Research Management Systems (RMS) has been a key tool for traditional investors and hedge fund managers for years. Even if you haven’t heard of the term, you will be doing something like it in one form or another and most likely very inefficiently.
So exactly what is RMS?
Modern RMS is software. Think of it as a combination of CRM, document management, calendaring and workflow automation. Or to put it another way, a single source of truth that ensures your organizational knowledge is shared across the entire team. The origins of RMS lie in the hedge fund world when analysts realized they needed a way to capture the huge amount of data, knowledge and interactions they generated around every opportunity they explored.
The RMS, then, is where everything goes. The real value of research management software is how easily all this knowledge is captured, organized and then surfaced whenever it’s needed. If you don’t already use an RMS you’ll most likely be trying to ensure such knowledge is captured and shared using email, team mailboxes, shared directories, etc. Everyone in private markets has their own “system” (likely a bespoke combination of platforms, programs, directories and so on, and some shared understanding of how relevant team members are supposed to use it) but the reality is often precarious, unevenly adopted by users and deeply inefficient. And as your team grows, and complexities build, such an approach is certain to fail. How much knowledge have you seen leak out of your organization over the years?
While the term RMS may be new in private markets, the use cases and benefits easily apply to both limited partners and general partners. An RMS like Bipsync can be used to automate a whole host of activities including, but not limited to, the following.
Four private markets RMS use cases
For every opportunity that becomes an investment there are many more that don’t make the grade. These often turn out to be unsuitable for today, but you will want to track and monitor their development in case it makes a suitable investment in the future. It could even be that some of the people you meet while exploring a declined opportunity will be of interest in the future. Bipsync not only allows you to track your active deal pipeline, but will capture every interaction your organization has. This knowledge can be easily captured via Outlook integration, email or direct input, and the sophisticated auto-tagging ensures it is easily searchable in the future.
The R in RMS is arguably a hangover from hedge fund-speak, whereas in private markets we talk about due diligence rather than research. How you conduct DD is a key strength of your organization, proprietary and unique to you, and arguably the point at which you have the most impact on your eventual performance. It’s therefore important to ensure that proper process is followed, checklists completed and progress tracked. Bipsync can be configured to meet your existing process, automating hand-offs for legal review, operational DD and setting up by the finance team if the investment is approved. By standardizing the process, Bipsync ensures that the whole organization can see exactly where everything is in the process, what has been done and what is still to be done. Compliance, audit and leadership can interrogate all of this data to ensure proper process is being followed and repeated to optimum effect.
Making the investment is just the first step in a multi-year journey and there will be many critical documents that need to be processed for each investment throughout its life. The Bipsync RMS rules engine ensures that these documents are captured and flagged as soon as they are received. It can also be configured to progress different types of documents through different processes and teams. All of this information can be tracked and viewed by everyone in the organization ensuring important documents don’t fall through the cracks that exist when multiple teams and systems are involved.
It’s not only ad hoc documents that need to be processed reliably. There are key processes surrounding portfolio monitoring like performing valuations that benefit from being tracked centrally. Information, knowledge and responsibility are usually split between the investment and finance teams, so Bipsync unifies the knowledge, process and people into a single easy to use interface. Through its powerful API library, Bipsync can integrate with your other systems including portfolio monitoring tools thereby uniting your pre and post-investment worlds.
These are just four key uses that an RMS can support; many investment companies are going even further with Bipsync to successfully streamline vendor management, staff reviews, ESG evaluations and more. The hallmark of a solid RMS for private markets is its flexibility, which means it can be used to automate any workflow. To learn more about how we streamline mission critical workflows for clients, download our guide showing how Private Markets investors use Bipsync or get in touch with the team by scheduling a demo today.