Cut to the chase
“The reputation of our business partners is important not only to us, but to our investors—and Juniper Square’s reputation is stellar. Juniper Square started as an investment management software firm, but they’ve morphed over time as their customers’ needs changed and the private markets industry evolved. That shows they’re creative and they’re hungry. Those are qualities that characterize Parkview as well. We like that synergy and, as we continue to grow, we like the fact that we’re partnering with an administrator that’s ready to grow alongside us.”
“The fact that Juniper Square has its own proprietary technology makes a world of difference. You can tell they put time into designing the software and the user experience so it works not only for the investor side of the portal, but for our internal needs as well. Everything is in one place, which is a huge benefit. Anyone from an associate on the team to our controller can easily gather information at the client, fund, or entity level. While other administrators have outdated software that’s difficult to maneuver, Juniper Square makes its technology as user friendly as humanly possible.”
“We learned so much about our business operations through the process of switching administrators. We discovered a number of things that we should be doing, and that’s where Juniper Square’s expertise really came into play. They’re experts in the administration space, which is why we picked them to help us grow our business. They understand our needs. Our business is their business, and we’re building it together.”
Total loan closings
Loans paid off with 0 losses
Total loans closed
Founded in 2009, Parkview Financial (Parkview) is a direct private lender specializing in ground-up commercial and residential real estate financing. Through a private real estate debt fund, they provide short-term bridge and construction loans secured by first trust deeds to developers throughout the United States.
Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York, Denver, and Atlanta, Parkview has grown exponentially, earning a reputation as one of the most respected private construction lenders in the nation for their fast, creative financing and execution.
With more than 350 years of combined experience, Parkview’s team of in-house experts has weathered several real estate cycles and understands the entire development process.
Since launching, Parkview has successfully executed more than $3 billion in financing for multifamily, retail, office, industrial, and mixed-use projects with executed loans ranging from $5 million to $200 million.
Prior to Juniper Square, almost everything at Parkview was done in either QuickBooks or Excel. As Austin Carlson, Managing Director, Head of Sales & Investor Relations, puts it, “It was a very dinosaur way to do it. Not only was it very manual, it opened us up to potential mistakes.”
Austin continues, “It was inefficient and, as we continued to grow, it was taking more time to complete our work—not only for sales and investor relations, but for our controller and our operations team, too. We needed a solution that would store all our investor and investment information in one secure location, so we no longer had to open five or six different Excel files to get to an answer.
We wanted a solution that would help us streamline our workflows, improve efficiency, minimize risks, and make sure that our reporting was complete, accurate, and timely.
At the same time, Parkview realized they were outgrowing their administrator. Austin explains, “When I started at Parkview, a very small accounting firm was doing our fund administration. That worked initially, but we were growing in both the size and complexity of our offerings. When we launched an offshore fund with a blocker structure, it became clear that we needed to bring on a new administrator that would immediately establish a sense of trust with our investors and allow us to scale our operations.”
Austin explains that Parkview had several key criteria they were looking for in an administrator. “A key factor for us was definitely reputation. Flexibility, expertise, and ease of use were equally important. We wanted to make sure that the administrator understood our business and offered a user-friendly platform that made it easy for both the Parkview team and our investors to access information.”
To find an administrator, Parkview put out the feelers and interviewed seven firms. Austin says, “We wanted to get a better understanding of how each administrator was built, its size, its flexibility, and how it operated. We wanted an administrator that could adapt to our needs and grow with us as we launched new, more complex funds. But we also wanted an administrator that investors were going to trust from the get-go, just from hearing the firm name.”
Austin explains why credibility mattered so much. “We have sizable institutions and high net worth individuals allocating anywhere from a couple hundred thousand to millions of dollars in capital with us. They want to know that we’re working with a trusted third-party administrator that is looking over and monitoring every transaction. In fact, one of the most frequent questions we get is ‘who is your fund administrator?’ Having a fund administrator with a solid reputation definitely helps.”
Austin also stressed the importance of finding an administrator with good technology. He explains, “Once we started looking for a new administrator, we were surprised by the number that used out-of-date software that was difficult to maneuver. Ultimately, we needed an administrator that offered technology that was easy to implement, intuitive, user-friendly, and enhanced our reporting capabilities.”
Austin says Parkview also heard from investors that it was time to switch to a more institutional-quality administrator. “It was something that we already knew, but our investors’ opinions were definitely a bit of a catalyst, both to start the process and in who we ultimately chose. We let a few select investors know which administrators we were considering and they helped us narrow down the list.”
Austin explained why they ultimately chose Juniper Square. “At the time we were evaluating administrators, Juniper Square was still building out its administration platform. We liked that, quite frankly. Juniper Square was putting a lot of resources into building out that side of their business. They were bringing experts from larger, more established fund administration firms who had decades of experience in various disciplines and with different types of investment vehicles and structures. That expertise was important to us. At the same time, they were smaller, more nimble, and more investor focused. From very early on, we identified that they had a similar mindset, and we liked that alignment of interests.”
Juniper Square is an expert in the administration space, which is why we picked them to help us grow our business. They understand our needs. Our business is their business, and we’re building it together.
Managing Director, Head of Sales and Investor Relations
“Switching from our prior administrator to Juniper Square was relatively easy,” Austin says. “We had to import five-plus years of historical investor and transaction data, and the Juniper Square team worked with us every step of the way to make sure they were getting all the information necessary to do their job appropriately. It’s really up to the fund administrator to make the process seamless, and that’s what Juniper Square did for us.”
“The biggest piece of advice I would give to any firm looking to hire a fund administrator—whether for the first time or making a transition like we did—is to be patient. It takes time to upload and check historical data. When you’re doing something of this magnitude, you have to be open-minded and willing to do what’s needed to get everything done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Working together is what makes for a great partnership, and Juniper Square was a great partner.”
Austin continues, “It’s also imperative that you make sure that you fully understand your own business. If you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish as a firm and why you need an administrator, you might not fully understand how a service provider can help you and your investors. We relied on Juniper Square to help us understand what we weren’t doing and what we needed to do.”
Juniper Square has been our administrator for more than a year, and they are 100% an extension of our team.
“There are times that Juniper Square interacts with our investors, and they offer the same white glove service that our investors have come to expect from us. Through the evaluation process, we discovered that other administrators were a bit dated, not only with their software, but in how they communicate with their clients and their clients’ investors. That’s not the case with Juniper Square.”
“Since we’ve been working with Juniper Square, we’ve improved our efficiency exponentially. Before we were emailing out PDFs of subscription documents and using Adobe Sign to execute them. It worked, but it wasn’t scalable. Now we send subscription documents by clicking a button and the investor can complete them on their schedule, all in the same system. That’s the biggest difference—all of our operations, accounting, investor relations, and controller activities can be done securely in one spot. Having an automated system—and Juniper Square’s extra set of eyes to look over things—has helped minimize risk and potential issues.”
In terms of serving their investors, Parkview prioritizes regular communication and transparency. Austin explains, “One of the things we pride ourselves on is that we’re extremely transparent. Anytime we close a new loan or do something within the portfolio, we send out communications through the Juniper Square platform. Every investor knows what we did and the rationale for why we did it. We don’t ever want one of our investors to question the operations of the fund. Juniper Square helps us to be more transparent and a better fiduciary because the platform allows us to post all the details about our investments—every underwriting memo, letter, distribution, statement, K1, or report—so investors can go in at any time and access the information they need.”
“The feedback from investors has been fantastic, especially for those that were with us pre-Juniper Square. It’s a world of difference in the level of communication and access to information they have now. Our investors have investments in other managers and other asset classes, and those other managers also use Juniper Square so our investors are very familiar with the platform and how to navigate it. That’s helped Parkview’s brand image. Juniper Square has played a big role in how we interact with and serve clients and ensure they have a great experience investing with Parkview. It goes back to reputation—having a strong name like Juniper Square behind us makes our investors more confident.”
But it’s not just Parkview’s investors that are benefiting from Juniper Square. Austin says, “My days are more efficient. I can log into the Juniper Square system and get information very quickly. The same goes for our controller and for every associate on our team. Now that we’re more efficient, it allows us to be more proactive in terms of raising the profile of Parkview as an investment solution. And that’s huge. Just like a lot of other businesses out there, we’re a growing business and, when you have more time in your day to be proactive versus reactive, that’s when you’re able to really grow.”
Metrics as of 9/27/2022