A practical approach: Private asset tracking with family office software

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Not all family office software systems are created equal, especially for tracking private assets. This insight sheds light on family office professionals' daily challenges in managing and keeping track of their private assets. It also discusses the benefits of using modern family office software, factors to consider when selecting the right software and shows through case studies how other firms were able to streamline their operations.
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What you need to know

  • As more family offices venture into private markets, excel and generic software are ineffective in helping them manage their entire portfolio in one place.
  • Family office technology can help fill the gaps missing in private asset tracking and allow family offices to stay lean and efficient.
  • Case studies, such as K.E. Skye and Omnia Capital Partners, demonstrate how modern family office software can help family office professionals save time and focus more on strategic investment decisions.
Private Equity Published on Simple June 19, 2024
By Asora

A recent UBS report surveying 230 single-family offices from around the world found that, on average they allocated almost half (45%) of their investment portfolios to alternative assets. Moreover, most of them planned to increase their allocations in the coming years to protect themselves against political and economic uncertainty.

While an effective strategy for diversifying and preserving wealth, tracking private assets can be administratively challenging. Given the above, family office professionals overseeing investments spend most of their time tied up in managing these asset classes.

Challenges family offices face

Unlike publicly listed stocks and bonds, which can be managed with generic investment portfolio software, keeping up with the private markets can be painstakingly difficult. Private market assets like private equity, real estate, and venture capital do not have to share their information with the public. Therefore, family office professionals often have to liaise with various asset managers and institutions to get the latest information in time.

For instance, a typical day in the life of a family office CIO can range from researching and analysing collectables to attending general partner (GP) meetings halfway across the globe. The administrative task of gathering all the financial data needed to make quarterly reports can be burdensome and take away time from where their skills can really add value.

Many find it challenging to keep track of all their private assets. Which often means logging in and out of different portals and downloading PDFs and spreadsheets to access their data. Consolidating it from different formats is nearly impossible. More often than not, they end up reverting to Excel spreadsheets to try to fit their private asset data into generic software systems to get an overview of their portfolio.

However, modern family office software offers features for managing data effectively, providing easy access to important information and insights:

Benefits of family office software

One of the many benefits of modern family office software is private asset tracking—a cradle-to-grave solution. In other words, family offices can monitor and manage assets from their acquisition through their lifecycle to their disposal or retirement. With family offices looking to increase their allocation to private markets, software for the modern family office like Asora can help streamline management processes in the following ways:

  • Data collection automation: The software can integrate with data sources from various financial institutions and automate the data collection process, eliminating the need to log into different portals and saving time. Asora’s partnership with Canoe Intelligence helps with alternatives document collection and data extraction process driven by AI and machine learning.
  • Efficient data consolidation: Instead of manually merging spreadsheets, the software can consolidate data from multiple sources into a single platform, reducing the need for manual entry and minimising errors.
  • Single source of truth: After consolidation, the financial data can be displayed in a unified format, solving the challenge of dealing with multiple formats.
  • Real-time visualisation: The software solution provides real-time visualisations of portfolio performance. Users can access up-to-date information on net worth, asset allocation, and investment performance, enabling more informed decision-making.
  • Reports on demand: Finally, the modern family office software can help generate reports on demand using real-time data.

Other benefits for family office professionals include the pipeline tracking functionality for assets undergoing due diligence and review. It allows users to track the progress of each deal through the evaluation process. This means family office professionals can monitor each deal’s status and review team members’ assessments and notes regularly. That will ensure all stakeholders have the relevent information before making an investment decision.

Also, being able to attach notes to private assets can provide contextual information, insights, or special instructions related to those assets. The feature helps in maintaining a detailed history and understanding of each asset, making it easier for a family office to track changes, decisions, or important discussions over time.

Factors to consider for family office software

Before diving in to select any software solution, it’s important for each family office to consider the following factors:

  • Security: Since the software will be handling sensitive information about the customer’s assets, such as their location and usage patterns, it is important that the software has strong security measures in place to protect the data from unauthorised access or breaches.
  • Customisation: Family offices should also look for software that allows them to customise the tracking features according to their specific needs. For example, they may need to set up alerts for when an asset is moved outside a certain area or when it requires maintenance, or they may need to track the usage of specific assets by different users or teams.
  • Usability: The software should be easy to use and integrate with existing systems. It should also provide clear and actionable insights to help users optimise their asset management processes.
  • Historic data: Finally, family office software should provide the ability to store historical data and enable bulk uploading for efficiency.

Case studies: K.E. Skye and Omnia Capital Partners

How one family office saved 50% of its time on reconciling performance data

Established in 2000, K.E. Skye is a single-family office initially focused on real estate investments in Thailand. Over time, they broadened their investments to include different types of assets in both public and private sectors. As their investment portfolio expanded, they found themselves spending a lot of time manually combining their quarterly financial reports into one Excel document to see the big picture of their investments. This process was quite time-consuming.

K.E. Skye was looking for a simple and efficient way to track their portfolios across different asset classes in a consolidated manner.

They needed a better way to keep track of their assets, so they started using Asora, a cloud-based service made for both single and multi-family offices. The solution made managing assets much easier, and K.E. Skye was able to save about 50-60% of the time they used to spend putting together reports and doing calculations. This freed up more time for their investment team to focus on strategy and look for new opportunities.

How a multi-family office reduced document sharing via email by 50%.

Similarly, Omnia Capital Partners, an investment-led multi-family office based in Sydney, dealt with multiple custodians, asset classes, currencies, and tax jurisdictions. They needed to ensure that the advice they were giving their families was based on accurate and timely data. As sending documents over email carries cybersecurity risks, the company wanted to be able to share documents securely and track who downloads them.

Omnia CP wanted to ensure that the advice they were giving their families was based on accurate and timely data.

Turning to modern family office software, Asora was able to help them automate data aggregation and cleansing, enabling them to provide clients with accurate real-time data.  The first feature they rolled out was secure document management, which led to a 50% reduction in files being sent via email, with a target to get that close to zero.

 

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A screenshot of Asora’s dashboard

Conclusion

As more family offices expand into private markets, it’s becoming evident that generic software and Excel are not effective in managing their private assets. Family office technology such as Asora can help bridge the gaps in private asset tracking and enable family offices to operate efficiently. Unlike other software that only offers basic tracking, Asora provides advanced real-time visualisation and automated data consolidation, empowering family office professionals to save time and focus on strategic growth.

About Asora

Asora is a SAAS solution for single and multi-family offices to track and oversee assets, automating data capture and providing digital on-demand reporting on the web and mobile. Time-consuming manual handling of data and report creation are replaced with automated data feeds, comprehensive data cleansing and enrichment and digital on-demand reporting.

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Asora is a SAAS solution for single and multi-family offices to track and oversee assets, automating data capture and providing digital on demand reporting on web and mobile.

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