Written by PER’s Finance and Operations Consultant Stuart Paterson
…Legislation and cyber security are just two of the non-accounting matters exercising the minds of Private Equity Finance professionals this quarter.
It has been a busy quarter for most finance professionals. With their heads buried in year-end reports, Q1 is traditionally a busy period. Thankfully, they have still been able to make time for me and share some of the market trends that have been affecting them.
1. There has been an increased demand from CFO/FDs that their reports be more analytical, focusing on the implications of the numbers, rather than just the numbers themselves. The increased use of out sourced administrators and system automation is taking a lot of the heavy lifting out of the job. As such, the finance team are now being expected to do more analysis on the portfolio companies and the fund itself. This could be for internal or external use and requires improving presentation skills as well as analysis capability.
2. With constantly increasing regulation, it often falls to the finance team to pick up the regulatory and compliance responsibilities within the funds. In practice, the financial controller will often compile the reports and monitor deadlines and the CFO/FD will sign off the report as CF10a/11.
3. Investors are becoming increasingly more demanding for the funds that they invest in to have a robust back office. In particular, they often want reassurances that the fund has sufficient cyber security in place. Again, this responsibility often falls to the CFO.
4. Some of the US funds are discussing potential locations outside of London to move their support functions to, with Luxembourg, Dublin and Germany being the top three destinations under consideration.
We are already seeing an increase in demand for more people and deeper skills in the finance team as these trends develop. Please do get in touch to see how we can help.
About the author: Stuart Paterson joined PER in 2016 to lead our Finance and Operations division. His previous experience has allowed him to hit the ground running and he has already placed a number of people into senior level positions within Finance, Operations and Legal. Stuart has developed a strong network within the London based CFO community from small start-up funds to the largest asset managers in the private equity industry.