Advice to my 2nd-Fund Self, with Osage Venture Partners

By: James DiCostanzo

Sales Director
October 11, 2021

Osage’s Advice: Get tech ASAP, make implementation a priority, and foster a culture that respects financial controls

Growing a successful company is no easy feat. So we asked some of our clients who have done so what they wish they’d known earlier. Specifically, what advice do they wish they’d received when they were launching their second or third fund?

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About the advice giver:

Osage Partners has been investing in early-stage B2B software and university start-ups for the last decade. With eight funds and almost $1 billion in committed capital, Osage Partners has firmly established itself as a leading player in its space.

Claudia Dunnous, Chief Financial Officer for Osage Partners, spoke with us about her decision to implement Allvue back when Osage was launching its second fund – and how the foresight to bring on a solution then has made such an impact on the growth of the company.

Claudia’s advice:

Onboard technology as soon as you possibly can

“We were very fortunate. We implemented Allvue at the start of our second fund. I recommend the same for any fund – onboard technology as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more funds you launch, the more difficult it becomes to implement technology.

“When we onboarded our solution, I knew people at other funds that were familiar with other vendors and they were telling me the technology wasn’t there yet, it didn’t work and wasn’t worth the struggle. Now, all those other funds have recognized that it wasn’t possible to keep going on their own – that they had to bring on a solution – but because they waited they had to struggle through a difficult implementation and retroactively add in multiple funds.

Having Allvue’s fund accounting solution integrated with our CRM and investor portal is tremendous – it makes our lives so much easier. At the size we are now – just under $1 billion in committed capital with eight funds, and with some of those funds having over 150 investors – it would be almost impossible to do it without Allvue. Not only would it be it less efficient and require more people, but there would be a higher risk of errors.

“Generating a PCAP statement, for example – that was one of our biggest concerns that led us to look for a solution. It’s possible to do a PCAP statement in Excel, but it’s not possible to do it efficiently and without errors. Implementing Allvue not only helped us to control back-office costs, it also de-risked our processes.”

Make implementation a priority

“Implementation goes smoothly if it is a priority on both sides. I had two great people at Allvue I was working with and I made the project a priority on my side.

“The other thing we did was to find a platform that we knew we could grow into. We didn’t implement the investor portal right away, for example, but when it became a need later – as we heard from more and more LPs that it was something they wanted, and as we found we needed a better way to deliver sensitive financial information – it was simple to add because we were already using Allvue.”

Create a culture that emphasizes financial controls

“We are living in a world where it is extremely important to have good financial controls – controls over wiring funds, approvals, and coordination between partners and the finance department. Our controls have become more robust as we have grown, and I am grateful that Osage has created a culture where this is a priority. The commitment to the finance department from the beginning has given us a long-term perspective that has helped us grow into the company we are today.”

More About The Author

James DiCostanzo

Sales Director

James DiCostanzo is a global sales leader with over 20 years of experience in the financial, private equity and SaaS industries. He is currently the Global Head of Growth Equity Sales at Allvue Systems, a leading provider of investment management solutions. He joined Allvue Systems in March 2020 as the Head of Sales for the East Region, after working at Thomson Reuters for nearly two decades in various roles, including Head of Solution Specialists, Data & Analytics and Global Business Director. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business/Managerial Economics from SUNY Oneonta. He is based in the New York City Metropolitan Area and can be found on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesdicostanzo/.

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