This massive fund of funds firm with $50 billion in assets under management focuses on direct investing and co-investment strategies and shares responsibility for sourcing, underwriting and structuring investments in public and private securities across asset classes. The firm has hundreds of different fund investments including private equity, hedge fund investments, and investments throughout the cap structure.
A seven person research team supports the group’s opportunistic business. The research team’s priority is being able to get up to speed on companies, sectors or themes very quickly, efficiently sift through the noise and understand the topics that they should focus on. Previously, the team’s research process relied on information stored in different locations, including:
Internal databases with over 50,000 documents including meeting notes and investor letters, hosted on different websites, some of which did not have alerting.
Broker research, which was spread across several portals. “You have to have bookmarks for every broker. Horribly inefficient. Nobody knows what their passwords are. You get a million emails from the street.”
Company websites: The team visited individual company websites to pull SEC documents and company IR presentations.
SEC websites to look up 10Ks or 10Qs.
“A big piece of our internal documentation was not searchable,” says the team’s Executive Director. “The internal documents were stored in different locations and in various formats. Some were PDF, some were Word, some were in Excel. You didn’t have a full picture of what was going on.” With deals moving fast and information scattered in different places, the team wanted a solution for internal research that would allow them to move faster and leverage the vast amount of existing intelligence to inform the group’s investment strategies.
“AlphaSense has made our research process more comprehensive and accurate, while cutting down time spent by 75%.”
Initially the team considered building an internal search platform to solve the challenge of their fragmented research process, but decided against it given that doing so was beyond their core competency and such a large and costly undertaking.
So they began to assess external tools and made the investment in AlphaSense.
Now, the fund’s IT team uses a central administrative account to connect their internal files to AlphaSense via Filesync, which enables continuous synching of their internal files with the AlphaSense platform. They’ve set up real-time alerts to capture the latest information and can now access broker research through a single, seamless platform.
Noting the fully customizable structure of AlphaSense alerting, the Executive Director tweaks his company watchlists often, usually weekly and experiments with fund watchlists. Using the insights captured by alerts leads the team back in the platform for deeper research including:
- Thematic searches across company documents and filings, which thanks to Smart Synonyms’ ability to capture all relevant hits for keyword searches, surfaces comprehensive results. “A lot of these documents are 100 pages long. Now we can make a specific search and immediately get the results that we’re looking for,” he notes.
- Company and industry searches – a recent search led to Consumer Discretionary food delivery companies, resulting in the team tracking new companies in the space.
- Reverse ticker searches for example, typing -NFLX in the Company/Ticker search bar to uncover what companies had recently been talking about Netflix in transcripts.
They also leverage other AlphaSense workflow capabilities like table extraction to pull tables into Excel, which allows them to spend more time doing actual analyses on the data rather than manipulating data to get it in the desired format.
The impact of AlphaSense has been dramatic.
- Accelerated & accurate diligence process: “It’s made the team’s research process much faster and a lot more comprehensive and accurate,” he said.
- Real-time answers: “Now we can answer a question with accuracy as we’re on a call with a PM, in real time.”
- Time savings: The Executive Director says that AlphaSense not only cuts down on the time, but the output is significantly improved. He’d guess it cuts it by ¾ of time. A drastic improvement.
“AlphaSense is always the first place that we go when we’re starting to do research. It has everything we need in it, and has all of the pieces of the puzzle,” says the Executive Director. “It makes everyones’ lives much easier.”
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