Gen II adds automation software to streamline fund of funds work

Service provider uses Canoe Intelligence product to lift productivity and cut errors.

Gen II has integrated automation software from Canoe Intelligence into its fund of funds business to reduce the time it takes to support its clients.

The fund administration provider began using the offering in December, executives at the company told Private Funds CFO. Gen II then publicly announced its software support in January.

The company said that Canoe’s automation software is meant to help with data collection and management across multiple support steps.

These kinds of tasks have historically entailed numerous types of manual involvement, explained Shaun Buckley, Gen II’s head of fund operations and senior principal for client services.

“This has been done by people going out, getting a notification that there’s a new document, going to a portal, logging in, getting that document, reading it, finding the info that they need on it, copying and pasting it and bringing it over to their accounting platform,” he said.

And automation is particularly beneficial in fund of funds because there’s more paperwork involved due to sponsors serving both as GPs for their vehicles and as LPs for their underlying investments.

“What’s always been the challenge more than anything else is volume, volume, volume,” Buckley said.

Indeed, the paperwork that the company gets can be staggering.

“A lot of our funds have hundreds of investments, which means you’re just getting countless numbers of documents and communications from the underlying funds,” Buckley noted. “Some of them are meaningful for your accounting purposes, others are just informational.”

Removing these myriad tasks means that Gen II’s staffers’ roles will be more focused.

“It’s really allowing the accountants to be accountants instead of just grabbing data off of a piece of paper,” Buckley noted.

Another benefit of using automation software is that it will lead to fewer errors emerging when staffers handle clients’ data, according to Nikolaos Perros, Gen II’s chief operating officer.

“We’re always looking to increase the quality of what we do and certainly data ingestion,” he said.

GP clients will indirectly benefit from Canoe’s automation capabilities in two ways, Buckley explained.

First, they will be able to access their fund documents and those of their underlying investments in Gen II’s document management system. Additionally, clients can tap the digitized data for their own books and records servicing.

And fund of funds may just be a first step for Gen II in an automation journey. Perros and Buckley told Private Funds CFO that they are open to working with Canoe to extend capabilities to primary fund clients.