Tag Archives | financial crm

Amid Performance Woes, the Hedge Fund Industry Wisely Turns to Investor Relations

Financial CRM May Help Hedge Fund Managers with Investor Relations and Fund Performance

The hedge fund industry is facing something of an identity crisis at the moment. Slumping performance figures and investor revolt against the standard “2 and 20” fee model is forcing a shakeout: 291 hedge funds shuttered in the first quarter of 2016, offset by only 206 new funds started up, according to fresh data from Hedge Fund Research. Last year saw the most closures since 2009.

Survivors of the fallout are asked to slash costs and explain again how they outperform the market net of fees. Over the past five years, hedge funds provided investors a measly 1.7 percent return, according to the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index. Had that money been invested in the S&P 500 instead, the average annualized return would have been 11 percent.

If things don’t improve, expect more hedge fund outfits to struggle during fundraising. Already the $300 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), seen as both a bellwether and pacesetter for other institutional investors, has left the sector. Other big-name investors, including MetLife, American International Group and the New York City pension plan are reportedly set to do the same.

Which makes the timing of a new release from the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) so important. Last week, the hedge fund trade body published an investor relations best practices manual that touches on everything from pre-meeting planning to on-boarding procedures to crisis management. The guidelines are only being made available to AIMA members, but a scan of its executive summary hints at just how much thought and effort went behind its creation.  Continue Reading →

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Navatar Bringing Cloud Computing for Investment Banking & Asset Management to Latin America

Alternative Latin Investor highlights Navatar’s role in bringing the cloud to the capital markets and investment banking world in Latin America, in a recent article.

“Foreign market leaders such as Fidessa, Direct Edge and Navatar are challenging local providers in the race to meet the booming region’s needs,” says the article.

Read the full article here. It goes on to say:

One subsector of the industry in particular is pioneering a new paradigm of easy distribution: cloud computing. One of the leaders in cloud computing for global investment is Navatar, a New York based firm. Their first product line came out 3 years ago, and in the last year sales have more than doubled, giving the company a name recognition that has attracted major international financial firms. The hardware and software with which they serve their clients is hosted by the cloud computing host Salesforce.com.

The major financial firms they are referring to, are names such as PNC and Jefferies. In Latin America, we have customers such as Banco Lafise, a prominent bank. One big reason they like our products is that they never have to go to their IT departments or hire consultants. As the article quotes me:

“Our products are very tailored to the type of asset class,” Alok Misra explains, “But they are also out-of-the-box, so companies don’t have to spend so much on IT and maintenance – it’s all included at no additional cost.”

Another key reason for our success globally is Navatar Deal Connect, the free marketplace for middle market deals – if you’re a dealmaker in Latin America, there is no better way to build relationships in America and Europe – without spending a penny.

Stay tuned for more developments in this exciting region.

Alok Misra.


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Can Salesforce.com or Navatar Help Alternative Assets Avoid Hurricane Sandy Problems?

Hurricane Sandy appears to be heading toward a major area for Private Equity, Hedge Fund and VC’s, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.  The big storm could bring power outages and flooding along with other damage the beginning of this week.

For those alternative assets firms still relying on on-premise equipment, they have the weekend to work on business continuance issues. We hope that they have data backed up to a remote site with some provision for  employees to work from home by dialing into a remote server using encryption.  If they don’t have a remotely backed site, they need to plan for power issues, lost telephone service  and potential damage to the closet or data center that houses their equipment.

We expect the storm to be less of an issue for firms that are using Cloud computing. For example, in the case of Navatar private equity, hedge fund, M&A along with Corporate M&A and VCclients, their data is stored in more than one location (salesforce.com servers mirrored and backed up across data centers). They can expect to face the loss of power but fortunately battery powered laptops, iPads, iPhones, BlackBerrys and Android devices can bridge the gap until power comes back up. Because of a couple of storms last year, many of the people I know in Connecticut now have generators at their homes that will not only save the food in their freezers but will allow them to work without interruption.  By the way, the Navatar Support Team is geographically dispersed so they will not be affected and available to support customers.

The biggest vulnerability for the Cloud clients is losing access to the Internet. It just takes one tree to take out cable delivered broad band service. Fortunately, there is cellular data coverage as an alternative. Most people have access to more than one smart phone. It might make sense to forgo the family plan and put one of your phones on AT&T and have another member of the family use Verizon or some other service. If you do lose service you still have the option of driving to another location (unless that tree that knocked the wires down happens to be blocking your way).

One situation that’s a challenge for both those with either the on-premise or Cloud model is having the schools closed for week with the kids home. As a private equity executive told me today, that scenario really makes it hard to get work done!



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Cloud Computing Jobs – Marketing, Sales & Product Management for Navatar’s Products in Salesforce.com’s Cloud

Navatar is hiring in New York and we want to hear from you.

We’re hiring for marketing, sales and product management. You must be an overachiever, that thrives in an entrepreneurial environment. You must have the DNA that drives the faster pace of cloud companies.

You think this may be you or your friend. Then read on:

Marketing manager to lead the marketing team? You’ll work as a key member of our core team and be accountable for developing and driving a strategic marketing plan. You will work closely with the sales team, product team, customer success team, resellers, partners, customers, prospects and PR agencies. You will be defining the messaging and positioning of Navatar products for various markets. You will lead the end to end communication and execution of the marketing plan.

You must have 4-6 years recent experience managing the full marketing lifecycle for a SaaS, or cloud company and at least 2 years experience in lead end to end marketing programs for a specific product. You must have hands-on experience in the development and execution of corporate and customer communications programs as well as communicating across traditional and new social media channels. Knowledge of financial industry may be a plus.

Product Managers to drive the development of Navatar cloud products. You will guide a team that is charged with a product line contribution as a business unit. This extends from increasing the profitability of existing products to developing new products for the company. You will build products from existing ideas, and help to develop new ideas. You must have the ability to create a big-picture vision, the attention to detail required to translate the vision into executable work components and the drive to make that vision a reality. You must enjoy spending time with customers and prospects to understand their problems, and find innovative solutions for the broader market.

You must have 2-6 years experience managing products in a cloud environment – experience with the Salesforce platform/ecosystem will be a big plus. You will have the ability to work with business and technology teams as well as a diverse customer base in multiple countries. Financial services experience desirable.

Account Executives to join our dynamic, high energy sales team. Ideal candidates should possess solid B2B technology sales experience, in a?fast-paced environment. You will be empowered to sell the popular Navatar financial solutions that are used by large and small firms worldwide. You must be smart, ambitious and a quick learner, to take advantage of an opportunity with incredible growth potential.

You must have 2-4 years of quota carrying software sales experience, with a track record of over-achieving quota (top 10-20% of company) in past positions. You will have experience managing sales cycles for a large number of deals, simultaneously. Bachelor Degree required. Experience selling to financial institutions will be a plus.

If you’ve never heard of Navatar, we are a leading provider of cloud computing for Wall Street, with customers in more than 30 countries. Our financial cloud solutions for capital markets, asset management & banking are used by leading banks and financial institutions worldwide, such as PNC Bank, M&T Bank and Jefferies. We are one of the top ISV partners of salesforce.com, and all our products are built in the Salesforce cloud. Navatar is headquartered on Wall Street, New York.

Please email careers@navatargroup.com. Spread the word.

Alok Misra

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Podcast with Sunny Vanderbeck – Navatar Private Equity CRM (Cloud)

We’re pleased to bring you this podcast with Sunny Vanderbeck , Managing Partner of middle market private equity firm Satori Capital, a customer of Navatar Private Equity. Sunny talks with us about how cloud computing has helped his firm manage the complexities of private equity fund raising as well as a pipeline with more than 900 deals.

Sunny Vanderbeck’s bio:

Sunny Vanderbeck has a track record of high achievement in all of his endeavors, including as an entrepreneur, CEO, investor, board member, and military leader. Prior to co-founding Satori Capital, Mr. Vanderbeck co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Data Return, a leading provider of managed services and utility computing. As CEO for eleven years, Mr. Vanderbeck led the company through all phases of growth and transformation. The company sustained 40% quarter-over-quarter growth and reached $50 million in revenue after only three years.


Vanderback Net Castversion1   Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

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Navatar’s Mutual Fund CRM in Salesforce.com’s Cloud Highlighted by Money Management Executive Publication

Money Management Executive magazine highlights Navatar Mutual Fund Cloud in its latest Operations & Technology Special Edition. Navatar Mutual Fund Cloud now makes it possible for a wholesaler to get CRM, Sales Reporting, Transfer Agent Data and much more for a low monthly fee through salesforce.com’s cloud. A great example of multitenancy at its best.

Editorial Director Tom Steinert-Threlkeld says it is now possible to measure funds sales performance across various channels.
“Take Navatar. This is a buzzword-friendly service that works “in the cloud,” giving you access to tools for managing relationships with brokers, banks and financial advisers “on demand.” Alternately, you can consider it “software as a service,” running on top of a suite of services offered by Salesforce.com, which pioneered the concept of letting companies subscribe to online versions of computer programs which they didn’t have to install or maintain.

Navatar’s mutual funds add-on to Salesforce.com lets sales managers see aggregate sales data from different regions of the country or by broker-dealer firm or other overall measures. But it also breaks down sales to the transaction, so the performance of any individual rep can be tracked and evaluated.”

Navatar Mutual Fund Cloud is used by prominent firms such as Jefferies & Co., Guggenheim Partners, Alps Funds. It includes transfer agent data from DST, Sungard, Envision and others. It also includes intermediary feeds from Schwab, Fidelity, DST and others.

To learn more about Navatar Mutual Fund Cloud, visit:


To read the full article, you can sign up for a free trial of this publication aimed at leaders in asset management http://www.mmexecutive.com/.

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Are Free Salesforce Implementations for Real?

Is there such a thing as a free lunch??

After Navatar made the announcement for free services for Salesforce, here are a just a few of several questions I received:

How will you make money?”

Free – Ha Ha...”

Very interesting … still digesting what it means..”

The questions were genuine and?their underlying theme was clear – everyone seemed very?surprised since they didn’t think it was possible to provide any services free of cost. They were trying to figure out what the catch was.

There really is no catch. This is the way it is supposed to be in the cloud computing model. Cloud products are not physically installed for each customer the way on premise products are. True cloud products are multitenant and share databases, infrastructure and labor. Which means that the costs of implementing, maintaining, supporting and innovating can be shared too. That’s why, when you buy a cloud product you are supposed to get most services related to product implementation and support free of cost. It’s as simple as that.

All said and done, this is still a concept that will take some time to stomach – particularly, for folks that are like myself and have spent almost a couple of decades in the technology world, have long made a living implementing and maintaining software and have seen several fads come and go (I too spent years helping Deloitte and PwC make money on systems integration work). So their skepticism is understandable.

But there’s another category of doubters – those that have bought into the idea that implementing Salesforce for your business is simple enough to be accomplished with a few button clicks while playing poker. It’s often hard for them to see the value of what we offer (at least initially) since they are driven by the notion that it’s an easy DIY job. However, they typically realize after 6-12 months that the task of getting Salesforce to support their business, though not as daunting as plugging an oil well leak, can be extremely cumbersome and distracting.

So the answer is: No, we are not offering free lunches. Cost is one of the important advantages that Cloud Computing delivers – services costs are a big part of the TCO of software that the cloud promises to reduce. Real Cloud Product Companies will offer low cost subscriptions to useful, out-of-the-box (or, shall we say, out-of-the-cloud) products without charging customers for services – which is what we at Navatar are doing. The idea is that every Hedge Fund (or every Broker/Dealer or every Mutual Fund) doesn’t have to spend time and money doing the same thing just to implement and support software. Once customers see that value, they will be the real winners.

Alok Misra

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Private Equity CRM Capital Calls Functionality Will Improve Productivity

You asked we delivered. You don’t have to work long hours to manually calculate, create, print and deliver capital call notices any more. Navatar Private Equity now also automates capital call and distribution processes, eliminating all the time consuming manual work on your part.

Your Investor Relations team will not have to spend time preparing spreadsheets and performing complicated calculations. The pre-defined logic in the system computes the capital drawdown/distribution and fee allocations to various limited partners. The system also allows flexibility for exceptions – for example, the allocation for a limited partner can be overridden if their side letter states they don’t invest in certain countries or industries. The system also performs automatic rolls ups for each LP and fund, on various metrics, to help users manage the process efficiently.

The IR team will not have to manually create and mail capital call letters either. The Capital Calls functionality will, in a few easy steps, allow them to:

  • Set up custom capital call/distribution email templates using the fund’s logo and branding
  • Dynamically populate the capital call notice with relevant contacts, limited partner’s commitment and capital call/distribution information
  • Identify the contacts across limited partners to whom the capital call/distribution notices need to be sent based on the limited partner’s preferences
  • With a single click, email notices to all the relevant contacts across limited partners

We will continue to add more functionality to increase the productivity of your investor relations, fundraising and deal flow teams. If you weren’t aware, Navatar Private Equity CRM is built on salesforce.com’s cloud computing platform. Follow the link for a demo:

Demo of Navatar Private Equity

Shweta Kumar

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Cloud Computing Killed Siebel – Will You be Next?

Everyone knows how salesforce.com crushed Siebel a few years ago, to become the de facto standard in CRM. What started with a win in the On Demand CRM battlefield, has now revolutionized the delivery of software through cloud computing. Legacy software vendors under attack from newer cloud providers, are scrambling to protect their turf, like Siebel tried to do in the early part of the decade. However, most of these legacy vendors are fighting a losing battle.

Take the case of Netage, an established vendor that has been providing CRM to Financial Services. Netage will continue to lose deals to Navatar (read River Cities Capital Funds has selected Navatar’s Private Equity CRM over Netage Dynamo). The reason is simple: for a legacy vendor like Netage, winning the cost/value battle against a cloud provider like Navatar is next to impossible unless they can rethink their entire business model.

Legacy vendors typically give the cloud a try, as a defensive move – they launch a hosted offering, available through the internet to avoid losing business. They often try to save money by using all or some of their existing on-premise infrastructure and practice for their hosted offering (masked as a cloud offering), by avoiding the investment in a new technology infrastructure that supports multitenancy. However, the high cost of replicating and maintaining instances for each single tenant (or customer) eventually catches up with them, and their margins get lower as each new customer sucks up more resources (read Why Multitenancy Matters in the Cloud to learn more).

It isn’t just smaller companies – larger companies such as Oracle are faced with the same issue when it comes to competing with cloud providers (read Oracle Cloud Computing and the CFO?s Dilemma). But because of their size and scale, larger companies like Oracle have the ability to change the market demands/dynamics and fight the battle on a different turf.

The clock, in the meantime, is ticking for most other legacy software providers. If all they do is launch a cloud offering in addition to their on premise offering while maintaining the same business model, they will die soon. Their survival will depend on whether they can make a complete transition to the cloud world.

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Buy Side Fundraising Suffering – Can Salesforce CRM Help?

In the wake of news reports that Venture Capital fund raising had its lowest quarter since ’03, you might be surprised that very sophisticated buy-side firms such as Hedge Funds, Venture Capital firms and Private Equity firms often rely on the must rudimentary, home made fund raising methods (see article: Only 17 venture capital firms raise money in Q3 fewest in 15 years.) For example, many firms are still tracking their efforts in Excel or via notes in Outlook. It’s a very manual, time consuming and arduous way to track and manage their efforts.

Ironically, this is happening at a time when it has never been easier for a Venture firm to switch to better systems with almost no effort. The same browser they use to search for news and research can also be used for the industry’s most sophisticated CRM. No hardware needed other than the laptops they are now using and access to the Internet.

Whether they use our service built on the force.com platform or on top of salesforce.com or some of the other services out there, you have to wonder why, during this time of great stress they are still trying to make do with Excel and Outlook. If it is cost that is holding them back, you really have to wonder. We have priced our service at about the price of a couple of cups of coffee a day on Wall Street. On top of that, our Marketing Department is launching a “buy one get one free” promotion.

If you are in one of these financial firms and suffering from the funding drought – maybe it’s time to think about improving your pumping equipment.

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Is Navatar’s Financial Services Cloud For Force.com Popular Because It’s Low Cost?

At least 5 people asked me that question in the last 2 weeks. These people are customers, competitors as well as our partners. Everyone has been surprised at our success in the Financial market with our Force.com based services (or products, as some would call them) to manage operations for Capital Markets and Asset Management firms. But then, they figured it makes sense since Navatar is offering the lowest cost option to those who have no money to spend these days.

Is it true then, that our Financial Services solutions for Force.com are popular because they’re low cost? Of course. Navatar’s solutions to manage CRM, Operations and Portfolio for these firms are probably the most cost effective alternatives. They deliver on the Cloud Computing promise – to?lower costs and enable scalability as financial firms navigate the turbulent waters of today and prepare for the future. You can read about how Transparent Value, a Guggenheim Partners Company is achieving this, in the article, Asset Management Firm Moving Apps to the Cloud, written by Penny Crosman at Wall Street & Technology.

However, there is another important aspect to all of this. Around 60% of our financial customers bought from us since someone (another firm) recommended us. You would think the recommender probably said, “Yes, indeed, the cost is low and the product has all the features we need.” In reality, our recommenders endorse us for much more than that – they are happy to recommend us for the combination of product features and the service they receive from folks well versed in Financial Services. They like the idea of a one-stop-shop they can turn to, for anything related to running their operations efficiently. And it’s all baked into the cost of the service.

The service aspect really is the crux of the Cloud Computing model. A cloud service provider is a company that delivers cloud services as part of its business model. The public Cloud will be an abstract place through which service providers will deliver things like storage as a service, software as a service, or maybe even sushi as a service in Indiana one day. But the common link between all those things is, and ever shall be, the delivery of service. That quote is from an article Delivering Cloud Services: ISVs ? Change or Die or both! written byDaryl Plummer at Gartner.

So, let’s ask the question again. Is it really the cost?? My answer is that the big differentiator is the value that the Cloud Computing model enables us to provide. It makes us successful and it is exactly that value which will help our Financial Services customers take advantage of the new upcoming opportunities in this downturn.

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Social Media “Bleeding Edge” Leg Up

“No one’s social (yet),” says CRM Magazine’s Marshall Lager in the June edition. In other words, based on a study by ES Research, social media isn’t a big factor in closing B-to-B sales yet.

But, it’s clear that going “social” is the new bandwagon to jump on.

Below Marshall’s article there’s a big excerpt from The Facebook Era by Clara Shih, the head of social media alliances and product strategy at salesforce.com. The full (and really long) title of her book is, The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff.

According to one reviewer on Amazon, (Adam Smith,Bainbridge Island, WA), “The Facebook Era is a bleeding edge guide to how social networking portals such as Facebook can give astute businesses a leg up.”

We know a trend we see one. The “no software” folks are leading the charge into social media CRM selling.

Expect a tidal wave of new sales books coming out with titles like Strategic Conceptual Facebook Selling for Complex Sales.

Seriously though, we have just downloaded Shih’s book onto our Kindle2 and look forward to reading it during the commute home from Wall Street tonight.

Have a great day!

Allan Siegert

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One insider compares tracking Private Equity deals to …

During a late afternoon conversation, the CFO of a Private Equity firm tells us what starts off easily quickly becomes like a complicated Russian novel. Toss in lots of emails and attachments and it really becomes headache inducing. Especially when you have to create reports.

“You have to track who you talked to when and what you talked about. Later, are those people you talked to still interested in investing or not? And, ultimately track what they chose to invest in or not and as what entity and in what fund.”

Helping you easily keep all this straight is the problem we solve for essentially the price of a daily cup of coffee (we are talking about the one we used to buy across the street at Starbucks on Wall Street, not the lower priced McDonalds in Westport, CT). Navatar’s Private Equity is built on the salesforce.com platform so all you need to access your data is a browser. Of course, seeing is believing. We are always happy to give a quick demo so please don’t hesitate to ask.

Allan Siegert

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Cynical about Mobile CRM

We have always been cynical about mobile CRM.

Maybe it’s a left over feeling from the early mobile stock market devices we sold for Reuters they were the size and weight of a brick and if you moved too far from a window, they blanked out – of course, that was about a decade ago.

We have been playing with mobile CRM on a Blackberry and it’s surprisingly good. Okay, we are not an early adopter of this salesforce.com mobile but we now like it a lot. You can see data or add data regardless of connectivity. That’s because the application and the data are loaded on your device. So, for example, you can quickly add a meeting report during an airline flight. The data synchronizes immediately when you land and are connected again.

The only problem is that we have a Pearl (8130). That’s the one with the really small screen (about the size of two postage stamps) – so, we have to carry a magnifying glass to see our accounts and tasks. Maybe this is an excuse to upgrade to a new phone.

Allan Siegert

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End-of-Month Sales Pressure

Here we are at the month end and sales reps in many firms are going to be instructed to do what it takes to close deals. So, there’s this quote that we literally ripped out of Ron Hubsher’s book, Closing Time that might help.

Ron says:

1. Sales is about creating an eager buyer. By creating an artificial timeline to get a discount for the buyer, you have not created any real value to the buyer. If the buyer was convinced you were the best choice and was ready to choose your offering, you have needlessly given away 20% of your revenue.

2. If the buyer is not ready to commit to you, you have dropped your pants. What do you think will happen next? If the buyer eventually decides to choose your solution, will he pay full price? Probably not. What minimum discount will he start with?

Ron goes on to say that you will have trained your buyer to delay his purchase and ask for a larger discount.

So … best of luck from all of us at Navatar Group on creating a winning month!

Allan Siegert

Oh, one more thing.

More about Ron?s book at: http://www.salesog.com/bookpage. By the way, he has a killer list of blurbs that any author would die for; here is just one of them:

“An outstanding system for negotiating and closing sales opportunities on a global basis. I would recommend it to executives looking to drive revenues, command price premiums, and increase shareholder value. It is easy to understand, easy to use, and easy to implement. It is a must read.”
– Jim Steele: Chief Customer Officer, Salesforce.com

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Create and sell new financial apps without data center hassles

Data center issues often prevent firms from creating new financial software products.
We are talking about issues like data center space (if there is any) and the up-front costs of buying servers, switches, firewalls and the like before you can go “wheels up” with your new offering.
What’s nice about the Cloud model is that you can build your product and not have to worry about the ongoing data center cost of running it. Nor do you worry about adding new customers. You pay by the seat as you ramp up. So, all of a sudden, bringing a new product to market becomes a whole lot easier.
We know, we have done it. We would like to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Allan Siegert

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Hedge Fund CRM

NEW YORK, April 21, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Navatar Group, a global salesforce.com partner in financial services, today announced several new customers, including KStone Partners, Kelvingrove Partners and Zebra Capital. The firms are using Navatar’s customized CRM for Hedge Funds, a cloud computing application to manage hedge fund and fund of funds operations. Navatar CRM for Hedge Funds is built and run entirely on the Force.com platform from salesforce.com and is available on the Force.com AppExchange. http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=163434

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Cloudforce London

It was at the same place the G-20 met but there were no protesters.

The attendance was massive and from some of the largest firms in Europe. Some estimates were 4,000 people. Discussions were lively! We’d tell you more but the true spirit of the event is well captured by the force.com blog – so we’ll point you there: http://blog.sforce.com.

Have a great weekend!

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