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Posted Oct 14, 2020

Investors demand more than traditional fund administration delivers

Admin Services Launch Blog 840x560

Announcing Juniper Square Administration Services, the industry’s first seamless software and service offering designed for commercial real estate managers and investors.

Investor expectations are rising faster than ever, yet outdated and resource-intensive back office practices fail to keep pace. At Juniper Square, we’ve taken a different approach. Our technology-first administration services deliver an unparalleled experience for commercial real estate managers and investors, so managers can scale efficiently and build investor trust.

Steep challenges with administration

Just as Amazon Prime trained consumers to demand two-day shipping, so too have public markets trained investors to expect full transparency and instant reporting, in all their investments. Managers who’ve always prided themselves on providing superior investor experiences now struggle to meet the bar, and traditional administration isn’t helping.

As a result, changing investor preferences present the number one risk to managers, excluding performance (EY, PDF). Only 62% of limited partners (LPs) renew their investments (PEF) –a figure driven by dissatisfactory investor experiences and a lack of timely, accurate data.

Yet for sponsors, rising investor expectations is only one of many challenges related to resource-intensive administration efforts. Whether conducted in-house or via third parties, a widespread reliance on manual processes and legacy technology impedes growth as managers devote time to inefficient, low-value tasks.

A transformative solution

While outdated technology has been a key shortcoming in traditional fund administration, Juniper Square leads the industry with software that’s built to meet the needs of commercial real estate managers and investors.

When reflecting on technology capabilities, both managers and third party administrators give themselves low ratings:

  • A mere 15% of administrators believe they have a very strong forward thinking approach toward disruptive technologies and business models (FIS), and
  • Only 29% of fund managers agree that their accounting technology is “leading class and highly sophisticated” (PEF)

Beyond outdated technologies, managers often struggle to find third party administrators with specific real estate expertise. Third party administrators cover multiple industries, and none combine best-in-class technology with a sole focus on private equity real estate.

In contrast, Juniper Square is the #1 investment management software for commercial real estate. With a team and software focused solely on CRE, we deliver expertise that managers can’t build or find elsewhere. Through our technology-first approach, managers can scale their business efficiently, enjoy a seamless experience, and increase investor trust.

Efficient growth

Over the past decade, outsourcing back office activities has increased as managers attempt to better focus on their core competencies. In Juniper Square’s October 2020 CRE Executive Survey, managers anticipated increasing their spend on outsourcing, motivated by desires to scale, operate more leanly, and save costs. However, managers often find it difficult to source third-party administrators that fit their needs, and dissatisfaction leads 33% of managers to switch administrators every year (PEF).

Consider the traditional subscription workflow, a highly manual process that involves hounding investors and spending hours reviewing documents. Sponsors must spend time on these tasks over bringing in new capital, yet few third-parties offer modern, outsourced solutions. Juniper Square Managed Subscriptions allows sponsors of all sizes and structures to outsource subscriptions, even if they don’t need accounting, reporting, and treasury services.

Relying on the Juniper Square team has reduced our time spent on administrative tasks by 75%, and allows us to focus on our team’s areas of highest impact: either finding and diligencing investments or engaging with investors.

Tom Stults
Managing Partner
Watchung Capital

With Juniper Square, sponsors can scale efficiently without scaling costs and allocate more time and money to high-value activities like building relationships and sourcing deals.

Seamless experience

When outsourcing to a traditional administrator, an outdated reliance on Excel involves maintaining multiple sources of record and inhibits information flow between managers and third parties. Slow turnaround times leave managers in the dark since they lack access to administrator activities, and poor work quality often requires managers to perform time-consuming shadow accounting, thereby cancelling out the benefits of outsourcing.

By leveraging the Juniper Square software, we integrate directly into manager workflows to act as a seamless extension of their team. Full visibility into our activities enables managers to track the progress of a distribution or view the current status of a subscription–all in real time.

Jason Windebank, Managing Director of Wolverton Capital relays: “With Juniper Square, we now have an engaged, integrated fund admin services company, one that’s effective in performing all of the roles they perform. There’s no line between where the software platform ends and the service provider begins.”

With Juniper Square Administration Services, “outsourcing” becomes a true partnership that engenders trust and eliminates redundant activities.

Increased investor trust

With Juniper Square Administration Services, managers better meet investor needs for a more responsive, transparent and credible experience.

While our technology-first approach delivers a seamless and transparent experience for managers, it does the same for investors. An industry-leading portal delivers on-demand access, so investors have investment insights at their fingertips. Further, user-friendly online processes ensure subscriptions and contributions are as frictionless and modern as possible.

Beyond delivering requisite transparency, Juniper Square Administration Services also helps managers build credibility by easily implementing compliance and by outsourcing accounting, reporting, and treasury.

Eighty-three percent of investors consider compliance management to be one of the most important operational factors when evaluating private equity funds, and seventy-nine percent say a weak framework would negatively impact their decision to invest (PEF). Luckily, managers can easily upgrade to best practices when working with Juniper Square Administration Services, and reap the benefits of increased credibility and investor satisfaction.

As Jason Windebank of Wolverton Capital shared, “Just a couple of months ago, we lacked the controls, the reporting capability, and the back office credibility that a professional fund or project manager has. Now, we’re able to appeal to institutional investors.

Without Juniper Square, we wouldn’t be anywhere near this level of institutional quality.

Tom Stults of Watchung Capital also experienced similar benefits with LPs: “Our investors have been really impressed and pleased with our ability to provide a level of transparency and professionalism of reporting, handling of distributions, etc., that’s effectively on par with the largest, most sophisticated managers out there.”

With Juniper Square Administration Services, we increase transparency and responsiveness for all parties. Not only does this optimize the manager-administrator partnership, but it also helps strengthen the relationship between managers and investors.

More ways to meet manager and investor needs

Juniper Square was built from the ground up to meet the needs of commercial real estate managers and investors. Today GPs rely on our industry-leading software to manage more than $1 trillion in real estate assets. With administration services, we’re now expanding the ways in which managers can operate efficiently and focus on their top priorities.

By connecting more parties in a single source of truth and facilitating on-demand investment access, we’re continuing our mission to increase the efficiency and transparency critical for a well-functioning real estate market.

Learn more about Juniper Square Administration Services on our website.

We also invite you to attend our webinar on October 29th: Doing More With Less. Vittoria Reimers, VP of Investor Services at Juniper Square, and Jacqueline Johnson, Head of Fund Administration Sales at Juniper Square, will be joined by Tom Stults, Managing Partner at Watchung Capital, for a discussion on how you can operate as effectively as possible in volatile market conditions.

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