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Posted Mar 2, 2022

Building a team of modern administrators

Building a Team of Modern Administrators

GPs expect a modern approach to administration. Juniper Square is focused on delivering it. That begins with hiring the right people.

We look for five main things in fund accountants and administration professionals:

  1. Expertise in fund administration and a partnership mindset.
  2. A desire to collaborate with GPs and internal design and technology teams to find solutions to help firms operate more efficiently and make GPs’ lives easier.
  3. An understanding of how to use technology and an appreciation for its importance in helping deliver value to GPs and their investors.
  4. A focus on investor needs and providing them the best possible experience.
  5. A commitment to Juniper Square’s mission of transforming administration and making the world’s private capital markets more efficient, transparent, and accessible.

Dedicated to meeting GPs’ needs

We understand that running your business is complex—there’s capital to raise, deals to source, and investor relationships to develop and maintain, all while handling the day-to-day tasks necessary to produce and send reports and manage ongoing administrative, tax, and accounting activities.

More GPs are looking to work with an administrator so they can spend time on value-add activities that can help their business grow.

According to a recent Preqin Special Report on Service Providers, more than 30% of GPs switch administrators every year. This highlights the importance of selecting the right team from the beginning. We understand that it’s only by bringing great teams together that we can help GPs navigate changes in private markets and meet investors’ expectations.

Hiring the best

We not only want to create the best administration offering possible, we want Juniper Square to be a place where people can accelerate their administration careers and set the standard for investment management.

To do this, we look for professionals with at least a few years of fund administration experience because we want our people to deliver on day one. We also expect enthusiasm for and demonstrated competence using technology and a commitment to our long-term mission of transforming fund administration.

Because we’re a digital-first firm, we can go anywhere in the United States or Canada to source talent. To satisfy our robust hiring needs for our growing administration offering, we focus our recruitment efforts in areas with deep talent in fund accounting and audit to fill roles, which means we can bring on the best of the best.

Once on board, the team works in a team structure. Each team is made up of five to eight individuals, led by an experienced leader. That provides opportunities for feedback and mentorship and ensures that there’s back-up support for each client.

Experience matters

The Juniper Square administration team has cross-functional experience working in multiple industries, deep technical expertise, strong client communication skills. Collectively, they’ve handled administration for real estate, buyout, growth, venture, family office, hedge funds, and private credit at some of the industry’s most respected fund managers and fund administrators.

They’ve led significant initiatives, solved complex finance and administration challenges, developed high-performing teams, and are committed to modernizing administration processes to better serve both GPs and LPs. They understand deadlines, complex financial situations and structures, the unique needs of different types of investors, and how to improve everything from document creation to year-end processes.

Support across asset classes and structures

Our administrators understand private markets. Juniper Square got its start providing software solutions to the commercial real estate industry so we understand your business and can provide guidance at different stages—from launch to wind down—and through the ups and downs of market cycles. But we’ve expanded beyond real estate to support private equity, venture capital, family offices, natural resources, and multi-strategy investment firms and to support more complex fund structures, including open-ended funds, master-feeder funds, offshore entities, and parallel funds. Whatever your administration needs, we’ve got you covered.

Strategic partnership

Our fund accounting team has access to insights we’ve gained from the 1,200+ GPs using our investment management software. That gives us comprehensive and near real-time insight into what GPs expect from administrators and the challenges they face in running their business. Increasingly they expect an approach that puts a high priority on the LP experience, helps them structure and find value in their data, and delivers accuracy and efficiency enhancing automation while preserving reviewability.

Only 15% of administrators believe they have a very strong forward-thinking approach (FIS). We develop industry-leading software solutions for the private markets industry so we’re forward thinking and we understand how to use technology to improve the efficiency, productivity, and security of your business.

Powerful automation

Finance professionals understand that automation can reduce risk. And we believe automation can create a better environment for our teams to deliver better outcomes for GPs and their investors. Tasks done “in the system” are stable, consistent, and formulas can’t be incorrectly entered or broken when columns move and someone used vlookup instead of index match. Automatic waterfall engines, capital call calculators, in-system statement creation, and direct links between the investor portal and investment statements reduce the chance for errors. Automation can also make it easier to report to investors, close the books, or speed up distributions.

For fund accountants, this type of automation makes it easier to communicate with GPs and can increase confidence in their work. And it means there are more opportunities to tackle the challenging and engaging elements of administering a fund.

For GPs, automated systems offer a level of reviewability that provides reassurance and security. As opposed to reviewing a stack of distribution notices created via mail merge, a GP can log into the system and review automatically generated statements that tie directly to an investor’s account. And after reviewing they can approve for release or send back for further review. Ultimately, this means that investors can get access to information faster—that helps our clients strengthen relationships and secure future commitments and referrals.

Standardization improves quality, productivity, and investor outcomes

Standardization has made public markets more transparent, accessible, and trustworthy—and our administration team strives to deliver the benefits of standardization to our customers.

Each client who onboards with Juniper Square goes through a rigorous data evaluation and structuring process. Investor information is structured so that things like account details, additional contacts, and notification preferences are reviewed, cleaned, and entered into the system. Once onboarding is complete. we add client-configured requests to our standard capital call, distribution, and other notices.

This means there are fewer issues around missing data. It also means our administrators can learn the system once and not have to re-learn it for each new customer. This is particularly valuable whenever someone new starts working on their account because there’s less of a learning curve to climb to get up to speed on that GP. And because reporting is standardized, they’re not responding to requests to make custom formatting modifications.

GPs benefit from standardization, too. Their data is structured according to best practices we’ve learned from serving more than 1,200 GPs. And because data is standardized, administrators don’t have to switch between different data formats for different clients, which makes it easier to deliver accurate and timely information. Investors like it because it’s easy for them to compare notices across all their GPs that are using Juniper Square.

Standardization isn’t the answer for everything, but we believe it creates a better experience for our teams and provides reassurance to our administration customers.

Collaborating across teams

Private markets are changing fast and GPs need an administration partner who can help them navigate the shifting terrain. Increasing complexity means what once might have required input only from accounting and finance professionals now benefits from the thinking of other experts.

That’s why we bring together a collection of data analysts, designers, product managers, and software engineers to work with our administration team to suggest feature enhancements that can solve problems and deliver value to our customers. We believe this sort of collaboration not only sets us apart from other administrators, it provides our administration team with unique insights into how tasks can be improved and made more efficient.

We believe challenges like this are best solved by teams with a diverse set of experiences and skills. Ultimately, it helps us deliver more value to GPs, create a better experience for investors, and provide the type of collaborative environment where talented administrators want to work.

Customer focus

As investors demand more, our administration team provides the credibility and transparency they require. Our administrative team delivers a seamless experience through an industry-leading investor portal that modernizes the entire process from onboarding to the delivery of documents and reports all the way through wind-down or redemption. Everything is done in a secure environment that can be accessed anytime, from anywhere. Our uniquely scalable technology platform features built-in compliance, data security, automated reporting, and enhanced transparency.

The result?

Greater efficiency, reduced operational risk, and higher investor confidence, all of which allow GPs to focus on what they do best: raising capital, building investor relationships, and making prudent investments.

GPs deserve a modern approach to administration and our experienced team can deliver it.

If you're interested in working with—or for—Juniper Square, contact us or check out our open Services positions.