Xen Capital, a Singaporean fundraising platform, is planning to launch a free-to-use reporting tool to improve the quality of manager communication during the covid-19 pandemic.
Three of Xen’s GP shareholders – the identities of which are unclear – are user-testing the communication portal ahead of a planned launch on 30 April, chief executive Katrina Cokeng told Private Funds CFO.
The platform will have Facebook-like functionalities, enabling managers to upload documents, share links and post updates to a circle of invited limited partners.
“As LPs ourselves, we wanted to know what was happening,” Cokeng said. “Quarterly reporting used to be sufficient but we realized in March that there was no tool to suit the current environment. I currently have to collate LP communications myself, which is time-consuming.”
The website will require a two-factor identification process and user data will be kept on a separate database to Xen’s fundraising platform, she noted. Only GPs will be able to see the identity of those within their circles. Documents will be watermarked with a user’s details.
Sam Robinson, managing partner at Singapore-based North-East Private Equity, the Asian investment arm of Denmark’s North-East Family Office, told sister publication Private Equity International in March that GP reporting had been hindered by the speed at which the coronavirus spread.
“One large fund issued something detailed and professional, which was out of date almost immediately,” Robinson said at the time, adding that direct communication – such as via telephone – was preferable.
A one-quarter lag in private markets reporting means last month’s 31 December fund valuations would largely not have reflected the severity of the pandemic’s impact on portfolio companies, as Private Funds CFO reported.
Listed private equity firms provide something of a window into how portfolios have been affected by covid-19. Blackstone’s corporate private equity portfolio declined 21.6 percent in the three months to the end of March, according to its quarterly earnings on 23 April.