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Last month, Allvue held its first in-person Global Sales Kickoff, with our sales, product and marketing organizations uniting in Orlando, Florida for three days of enriching group sessions and team bonding.
Since we at Allvue view our partner organizations as a true extension of our own internal team, we made sure to have several of these outstanding partners in attendance, participating and bonding right alongside our group of Allvuers.
While at Allvue Sales Kickoff, I shared the stage and led a conversation with Mirador CEO Joseph Larizza, SteelBridge Consulting CEO James Haluszczak, and Lionpoint Group Co-Founder Jonathan Balkin. During our discussion we touched on themes including:
Here are some key portions of our conversation, edited for length and clarity:
“What do the underlying investments look like, what do their ESG metrics look like? How can [clients] slice information to identify risks and opportunities? All these factors back up why Allvue is a great partner for us, because you have capabilities that go beyond some of the traditional platforms.”
-Joseph Larizza, CEO of Mirador
Liara: Can you tell us what you’ve been hearing from the market in terms of trends for 2023? Where are you seeing risk versus opportunity?
Jonathan: We’re seeing our clients take a really deep focus on the technology and the operations of their organization. LPs are taking a more detailed look, and our clients are struggling to find great resources to help turn through the complexities. They’re really thinking about how to implement technology to automate those complexities – bringing data in, working better with a fund administrator, feeling good about their information forecasting and planning, and automating where they can.
We’re also seeing a lot more focus on best-of-breed connected platforms, especially with growth equity investors. It’s an exciting time of data and tech strategy reevaluation.
James: I can say the same thing, especially in terms of the data-centric environment. Most of our clients have implemented point solutions that deal with fund accounting or portfolio management. And now we’ve evolved as an industry over the last 10 years to say “How do we connect these systems? How do we stop re-keying data?”
In addition, many of our clients have had a fund accounting system for 15 or 20 years, and we’re now starting to see some of them wonder if there’s a better product out there, and if they should implement another fund accounting platform and relate it for their newer funds. Over the last 18 months, we’ve seen much more reassessment of technology versus first-time implementations.
Joseph: From my LP-focused view, family offices and the wealth managers are becoming more sophisticated. They want to understand not just what are the topline transactions and valuations of the funds, but what do the underlying investments look like, what do their ESG metrics look like? How can they slice information to identify risks and opportunities? All these factors back up why Allvue is a great partner for us, because you have capabilities that go beyond some of the traditional platforms.
“We’ve loved seeing the commitment, from your leadership all the way down to newer employees, in terms of working with partners with like us who want to help you and your brand in the industry, as well as help our collective client be successful.”
-James Haluszczak, CEO of SteelBridge Consulting
Liara: One of the things that our team is always interested in understanding is our competitive position. How do you all view Allvue’s position in the marketplace?
Joseph: Part of our job is to understand all the tools out there in the wealth business and to pick partners that we think are best of breed, especially as the industry moves from relying on liquids to more heavily on alternatives. Allvue is our premier platform for that perspective and the most sophisticated one from an analytics perspective.
Jonathan: We’ve seen a huge shift in the brand and the reputation of Allvue. From a competitive perspective, it’s great to see the credit and the equity platforms. That is a real unique competitive advantage for the organization. Our legacy private equity clients have started spinning up credit strategies and thinking about how to scale both sides of the organizations in tandem. It’s a unique competitive advantage in the market.
James: Allvue is certainly trending in the right direction with regards to reputation and industry position. We’ve loved seeing the commitment from your leadership all the way down to newer employees for working with partners like us who want to help you and your brand in the industry, as well as help our collective client be successful. The commitment that you have to putting efficiency and operational process and policy in place, all of that is going to bode well for you in terms of getting ahead of your competitors.
“This is another time of opportunity for us. It’s a time to look at our clients and check in with their operations and technology strategy, and put more focus on that as opposed to raising and deploying capital – just really focus on building out the business.”
-James Haluszczak, CEO of SteelBridge Consulting
Liara: In terms of the market conditions, why do you think headwinds for the traditional markets are tailwinds for us?
James: Anytime we go through an economic environment like we’re seeing now, I see it as an opportunity. I founded SteelBridge in 2008 because I saw the need for more systems and data transparency and processes that didn’t exist at all back then, and still somewhat don’t exist. This is another time of opportunity for us. It’s a time to look at our clients and check in with their operations and technology strategy and put more focus on that as opposed to raising and deploying capital – just really focus on building out the business.
Jonathan: The past two to three years have been a huge growth opportunity for our clients. They’ve raised bigger and bigger funds, many of them have doubled their AUM in the past couple years, and they’re seeing that double over the next three to five years. So, this is when they can take a step back to finetune their operations so that they don’t have to double the headcount alongside their AUM. Our clients are long-term investors and while the market is challenging to deploy capital right now, they have the time now to take a hard look at scaling the business.
Joseph: I agree with both of these points, but I’ll take it from a technology perspective. With the advent of software and cloud-based tools, it’s really democratized all this technology. These technology decisions aren’t 25-year decisions anymore and non-technologists can make these decisions. So, we’re putting the power back into the Chief Investment Officer or the Head of Operations’ hands to figure out what tools work for them and empowering them to quickly design workflows. All this makes Allvue much more accessible to a much wider market.
“Allvue should be the epicenter of most of our clients’ operations. The data managed within Allvue can be used across the organization in so many ways. Making data as well as reporting and self-service tools available to all is key.”
-Jonathan Balkin, Co-Founder of Lionpoint Group
Liara: After spending time with us at GSK over the last few days and learning about the interesting initiatives we are launching this year, what’s one area you feel we have potential to engage together?
James: The data side is a massive trend we’re seeing in the industry. Opening up APIs, allowing clients to get access to their data and push it into your warehouse and then ultimately report on that data or send it to another system – this is a key area in every one of our projects. So, partnering together on the data side of things and then going after clients – this is a huge opportunity for us.
Jonathan: I agree with that. Allvue should be the epicenter of most of our clients’ operations. The data can be used across the organization in so many ways. Making data as well as reporting and self-service tools available to all is key. I want to be thinking about doing an operating model assessment, or a co-sourcing arrangement, or leveraging a fund admin that’s using Allvue.
Joseph: For us, it’s really simple. When we go to market with our partners, we win the vast majority of the time, especially in our space. It’s a winning combination, and we look forward to replicating that in 2023.
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