Citco updates aim to streamline increasingly challenging fundraising process

Service provider adds features to CitcoConnect to help with KYC/AML and subscription forms.

Citco added a pair of features to its CitcoConnect platform that aims to help sponsors adapt to a tougher fundraising environment by making investor onboarding smoother and allowing GPs to focus more on wooing would-be LPs.

The first feature enables prospective LPs to do online pre-reviews for KYC/AML processes. A second lets potential investors pre-fill their online initial subscription forms with pre-populated information saved from prior usage.

Citco also said its offering includes features meant to help with consistency and accuracy of LP data for GPs – via tailored questions, question controls and real-time data validations.

The additions to the CitcoConnect platform, which was launched in 2018, come as sponsors face a challenging fundraising environment.

Data from affiliate title Private Equity International shows that dollars raised in private equity fell by 12 percent, or $22.9 billion year-on-year during the period from Q1 to Q3, totaling $561.3 billion.

The number of funds closed dropped by more than half during the same period, from approximately 1,800 last year to just 853. And the money raised went to a relatively small proportion of funds, with the top 15 accounting for about 40 percent of the dollars, Private Equity International also noted.

The fundraising climate factored into Citco’s decision to add the features, Adam Kapp, a senior vice-president with its product development group, told Private Funds CFO.

Kapp explained that the features are meant to make GPs more productive by helping them wrap up onboarding work faster so they can enter fundraising talks sooner with other would-be investors.

“[GPs can] focus in on the fundraising efforts as opposed to the onboarding efforts,” he said.

Kapp pointed out that sponsors can also use CitcoConnect to assess commitment interest among potential LPs. To do this, GPs can invite prospective investors to Citco’s virtual data room housed on the platform – including fund prospectuses and marketing materials – and track which ones view and engage with the materials.

And the service provider is considering further updates to the platform.

Kapp said that Citco is exploring a feature that would enable sponsors to keep up with regulatory changes affecting monitoring of LPs.

“We need to make sure that we are helping our GPs remain compliant.”

Citco is also eyeing a feature that would incorporate side letter processes, Kapp said.