24 January 2017
Spending lots of time sending information to your investors but afraid they won’t embrace your technological approach? Maybe we can help.
Picture this: It's Friday morning, it’s been a long week, and there’s still plenty to do before the weekend and relaxation are yours to enjoy. As head of Investor Relations, you’ve been busy this week getting the current round of Capital Call statements out to the 500+ investors of your three funds via email, fax and snail mail. Even the unpaid interns are starting to complain after all the hours put in, but it’s all done and you and your team are good for the quarter. Just as you are enjoying your second sip of coffee, your assistant runs into the room to let you know there was a typo in every statement sent. Red alert! Now you have to recall all the statements and reissue. Even working all weekend, most likely this won’t be done until sometime next week. Guess you aren’t making your daughter’s soccer game…
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, this has happened to my firm. And yes, if I could automate/digitize our content distribution, I would be at least fairly certain I could regularly attend my child’s sports events. But Nick, you say, I have one major concern here, namely adoption: My investors don’t want to use something new. Some of them even don’t want to use computers!
Many of the people I speak to in your line of business are very aware that secure digital distribution of investor-specific documentation would solve a number of problems for their firms. However, for many, their chief concern is that their investor base will not embrace the change from the current paper and email methods to a digital-only-based central system. And, you’re right, this is a valid concern. The majority of people do not like learning new systems or software. In the age of apps like Snapchat and YouTube, software must be intuitive with little to no learning curve and no manual that has to be read ahead of time.
So, does this mean that the switch to a digital distribution system is completely off the table? Absolutely not. As stated above, you aren’t the first person to voice such concerns. It’s a problem, and solving them is what I do. What if the interface to your digital distribution system worked like something your investors have already seen before? What if, instead of a complicated login procedure, your investors could just click a link and download a document to their computer, or view the document seamlessly on their iPad®? And what if this solution supported all major browsers and mobile devices? Well, I can tell you about some software that does all that more. A digital distribution platform that has been designed to work like Windows® Explorer and Mac® finder: Folder list on the left, files on the right. Surely, anyone who has used a computer in the past twenty years will have no issue with this. A system with file links to automatically download files, so users don’t have to login and navigate, they simply login and their documents are downloaded. Support for all major browsers and even have a mobile app for iOS devices. Oh, and would a system that’s potentially already being used by many of your investors be helpful? Yeah, I figured it might. Would you like to know more?
Ok, now with that out of the way, time for another cup of coffee.
Nick McCarthy was a hardened veteran of Intralinks’ advanced support and engineering groups before joining the Presales group as a Sales Engineer. In Presales he focuses on Intralinks applications for Strategic Financial transactions, with a strong interest in Enterprise-level solutioning utilizing Intralinks SaaS platform offerings. Prior to joining Intralinks, Nick worked in many other technology fields and lived in Japan for four years (though his Japanese is a bit rusty these days). He is a native of NYC and has a degree in Computer Science and Information Systems from Pace University.