Latest News  

EY: Private equity CFOs rank operational efficiency as top priority, but need technology, talent management and outsourcing to achieve it

Private equity chief financial officers (CFOs), facing pressures including increased investor scrutiny and intensifying market competition, are seeking operational success via different pathways, according to the EY 2018 Global Private Equity CFO survey, Operational excellence: one path or many? released at the beginning of this year.

2018-02-28 16:45:39

The fifth annual survey of 110 private equity (PE) CFOs finds many firms, especially larger firms over $2.5 bn asset under management (AUM), consider technology transformation and talent development as key priorities, while smaller firms (under 2.5 bn dollars AUM) are also more likely to view outsourcing as an alternative.

Mike Lo Parrino, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP said: "While ideal operational maturity may be defined differently for private equity firms by size, it is clear that this needs to be their focus in order to compete for talent and investment capital. CFOs are increasingly confident that they will be taking major strides toward operational efficiency in 2018."

Private equity CFOs are looking for various ways to improve operational efficiency

The asset management industry as a whole continues to face investor pressures around fees, and the private equity industry has not been immune. Seventy-three percent of PE firms said they have experienced significant pressure from investors to reduce management fees, and as a result, 31 per cent of CFOs report they have experienced some form of margin erosion.

To protect their margins, private equity firms have had to take action. Nineteen percent of CFOs neutralized margin erosion by strategically cutting expenses and growing top line revenue. Growth remains a top priority for PE firms, with record fundraising in 2017. Therefore, it's no surprise that 55% of CFOs said they expect to raise a new fund in 2018, and 60% of CFOs expect the fund to be larger than the last fund raised.

To achieve operational efficiency and revenue growth, forward-looking CFOs are reevaluating where they want teams allotting time, preferring value-add activities such as investment portfolio analytics, technology transformation and investor relations. CFOs intend to steal time back from tactical, routine areas such as fund accounting, treasury and human resources.

Next-generation technology is a valuable opportunity for PE firms

CFOs said that they are still in the early stages of next-generation technology development for practically every finance function, especially management reporting (51 per cent) and valuation services (53 per cent). Similarly, while PE firms understand that harnessing and managing data is a top priority, 62 per cent of CFOs feel their data is not well-integrated across the organization.

There was also a marked lack of confidence from CFOs that their organization could easily implement new technology solutions. The most highly cited roadblocks they identified were updating fund accounting systems (83%) and management reporting solutions (75 per cent), followed by valuation (65 per cent), investor relations (64 per cent), and cybersecurity (59 per cent).

Despite the difficulties in incorporating new technology, over two-thirds of CFOs (66 per cent) said they currently invest or plan to invest in next generation technology. Firms are currently investing in emerging technologies such as digital data delivery (37 per cent) and advanced analytics (20 per cent). While they are just beginning to delve into robotic process automation (4 per cent), more CFOs said they are planning to do so in the future (14 per cent).

Talent management is still the highest strategic priority besides growth for PE firms
Despite larger firms' reliance on technology, talent management remains one of the highest strategic priorities for CFOs across the board, according to the survey. They see human capital as a valuable asset, but on average, 48% also identified talent attrition as a top risk. A trusted CFO with a capable team that exceeds investor expectations and upholds the firm's reputation is an important piece that investors consider during due diligence.

While an average of 41 per cent of CFOs said they prefer a 3:1 ratio of investment professionals to finance professionals, only an average of 20% said that this is their current ratio – which indicates many have yet to find the optimal technology or outsourcing solution as a viable option for their finance function. Likewise, in passing the leadership baton, CFOs are more confident that they have a strong pipeline of future investment leaders (76 per cent) than finance team leaders (54 per cent).

Although CFOs are trying to engage millennials and tech-savvy individuals to stay within finance functions, 35 per cent said it is difficult to attract talent in these functions. As a result, firms are increasingly offering other incentives beyond compensation to retain talent such as expedited title changes/promotions (62 per cent) and flexible work arrangements (51 per cent).

CFOs view outsourcing as a way to shift finance teams' routine responsibilities to more value-add activities

While full scope outsourcing is largely confined to firms that lack the scale to handle key business functions in-house, outsourcing enables smaller PE firms to gain operational efficiency and remain competitive without having to make significant investments in technology or talent.

If a "perfect" outsourcing model existed, CFOs believe that shifting routine finance areas such as fund accounting (67 per cent), tax (67 per cent) and regulatory compliance (62 per cent) to a third-party would be most valuable to their ongoing success. This allows internal employees to focus on client facing functions that require a more personal touch, with an average of 37 per cent of CFOs saying they will continue to handle investor onboarding internally, and 37 per cent saying they will do so for investor tax questions.

Cybersecurity breaches are a reality for which PE firms are preparing

In the pursuit of operational perfection, CFOs are raising awareness of a very real threat: cybersecurity breaches. The increasing sophistication of cybercriminals pose a risk to private equity firms, regardless of size. Twenty-two percent of private equity firms surveyed reported they have experienced a cybersecurity breach, but many more could have gone unreported. Over half (58 per cent) of those who had a breach considered it at least moderately serious.

To identify vulnerabilities and manage risk, most private equity firms (70%) rely on externally-developed intelligence products to monitor cybersecurity. In addition, firms are beginning to recognize the effectiveness of a multi-pronged approach, taking steps to improve employee training (87 per cent), email monitoring (80 per cent) and using external vendors to perform ethical hacks (80 per cent).


0 COMMENTS ^ Go back to Top
WRITE A COMMENT ^ Go back to Top
 
Your email address will not be published.
Nickname
Email
Comment
Validation Code
   
 
 
NEWS
Colliers International, designated to obtain WELL certification for Skanska's Campus 6 buildings

Pioneering in the field, Skanska is the first developer to introduce in Romania the WELL Building standard for the newest company's project developed in Bucharest, Campus 6 and its 2 and 3 office buildings, bei

 Read Full article »
Atos signs cybersecurity industry partnership with NATO

Atos, global leader in digital transformation and the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Communications and Information Agency today sign an industry agreement to commit to a rigorous and continuous exch

 Read Full article »
Co-working segment: CBRE advises Spaces in the opening of its biggest center in Romania

CBRE, the world and local market leader in real estate consultancy, advised on the leasing transaction of 4,100 sqm office space for the largest center to be opened by Spaces in Romania.

 Read Full article »
Francesca Postolache, Partner PwC joins People in Shared Services & Outsourcing Forum on October 18, at Bucharest

Francesca Postolache, Partner PwC, joins us next Thursday to take forward major subjects such as Digital Transformation and Next-Generation Talent Development.

 Read Full article »
Telekom Romania opens in Brăila its sixth BPO center

Telekom Romania announces the opening in Braila of BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) centre dedicated to companies that need such services and which prefer to rely on a professional and experienced provider

 Read Full article »
Delphi Technologies inaugurates global IT center in Bucharest

Delphi Technologies, a leading provider of advanced propulsion solutions to automotive manufacturers has opened its first multidisciplinary global IT center in Bucharest. This new site will provide information

 Read Full article »
London Stock Exchange Group appoints Andreea Stanescu as General Manager for Romania

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) announced that Andreea Stanescu has been appointed General Manager, Romania. Andreea will be reporting to Dee Liyanwela, Head of Business Services Ltd (BSL) Sri Lanka and Roma

 Read Full article »
Google to offer free courses for young programmers and business incubators

Google announced the launch of the "Digital Workshop for Programmers", aimed at offering free courses to students who want to learn to program and young people who want to become technology entrepreneurs. These

 Read Full article »
ANIS scholarships gathered 35 innovative projects since launch

Employers' Association of the Software and Services Industry (ANIS) announced it registered 35 innovative projects within the first edition of its program called "ANIS' Scholarships".

 Read Full article »
Matthieu Pasquier is the new CEO of Societe Generale European Business Services

The Board of Societe Generale named Matthieu Pasquier as the new CEO of Societe Generale European Business Services, effective July 16, the company announced.

 Read Full article »
 
 
MOST READ ARTICLES
» Andrei Romanescu, Managing Director of...
» ROMANIAN OUTSOURCING AWARDS FOR EXCELL...
» Delphi Technologies inaugurates global...
» Exclusive OT print issue: Ericsson - ...
» Oracle reaches 4,200 employees and pla...
» Opinion: Why Canada, Asia and Australi...
» Ready for People in Shared Services & ...
» Isarescu: Economy will grow above pote...
» Genpact's COO: Staying ahead of the cu...
» Grégoire Vigroux appointed the new Vi...
 
EDITOR CHOICE
People in Shared Services and Outsourcing Forum, 2018: What kind of future, tomorrow will bring?

We have just concluded the fourth edition of our annual event People in Shared Services and Outsourcing Forum, the get-together of the Who's Who in the industry of business shared services in Romania.

 Read Full article »
Olga Botusan, Stefanini, keynote speaker at People in Shared Services & Outsourcing Forum on October 18, at Bucharest

This Thursday, at People in Shared Services & Outsourcing Forum 2018, Olga Botusan EMEA HR Director at Stefanini joins us to talk about Digital Transformation and Next-Generation Talent Development.

 Read Full article »
Colin Lovering to moderate the talks of People in Shared Services & Outsourcing Forum on October 18, at Bucharest

The moderator of the 4th edition of the annual event dedicated to the human resources in shared services & outsourcing industry, COLIN C. LOVERING ISM, Chairman of BRCC and Senior VP, Avison Young Real Estate i

 Read Full article »
Andrei Mihai Crăciun joins the speakers of People in Shared Services & Outsourcing Forum on October 18, at Bucharest

Andrei Mihai Crăciun the Head of office for Innovation, Technological Transfer and Intellectual Property Office from West University of Timisoara will be joining us to discuss whether the private-state actors

 Read Full article »
Sergiu Negut, on the stage of People in Shared Services & Outsourcing Forum on October 18, at Bucharest

On October 18th, Sergiu Negut joins People in Shared Services and Outsourcing Forum to share with us his ideas of ways to support the industry's human capital necessities and create a more efficient cooperation

 Read Full article »
Latest News  
 
about us | newsletter | contact | members area | GDPR policy
Copyright © 2015 by Diplomat Media Events Design by Diplomat Media Events