Cobalt GP Insight

Commentary from the 2017 Hamilton Lane Market Overview

By | Cobalt GP, Commentary, Hamilton Lane, News, PE Market Trends, Private Markets Industry Insights | No Comments

In late 2017, we attended several of the Hamilton Lane Market Overview events, which were presented in 12 cities around the world and wrapped up last month in Dubai. As a technology partner of Hamilton Lane’s, we’re always interested in these events. We’re proud to say that in this year’s presentation, most of the visuals and data were from our Cobalt product. Below are the key takeaways from the overview courtesy of Michael Roth, CFA, VP of Research for Cobalt GP. In keeping with their penchant for creativity, Hamilton Lane titled the 2017 edition of their market overview “Waiting for…

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Cobalt GP Insight

Five Takeaways from the 2018 PEI CFO & COO Forum

By | Cobalt GP, Commentary, FinTech, Private Equity Technology, Private Markets Industry Insights | No Comments

This past week we attended the Private Equity International CFO & COO Forum to connect with GPs and present a technology spotlight of our business intelligence product, Cobalt GP. The event was a great opportunity to learn more about the pain points directly impacting managers and how they have been adjusting to recent shifts in the industry. Here are our five key takeaways: Bespoke LP requests for data are becoming more prevalent and more complex We’re written in the past about the growing depth and breadth of data requests from LPs and consultants and it’s becoming clearer to GPs that…

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Avista Capital Partners

Avista Capital Partners, a Leading Private Equity Firm, Adopts the Cobalt GP Platform

By | Cobalt GP, FinTech, Investor Relations, New Client Announcements, News, Press, Private Equity | No Comments

January 29, 2018 – Today, Bison announced that Avista Capital Partners, (“Avista”), a leading private equity firm focused on investing in and growing healthcare companies, has selected the Cobalt GP platform to further differentiate and advance their portfolio data management capabilities. Avista’s move to Cobalt will provide a powerful tool for analyzing and benchmarking data, thereby enhancing the investor relations team’s dialogue with investors and ability to continue delivering best-in-class service. “The Cobalt solution is a powerful tool that offers our team deeper intelligence and insights into the data points we track for our portfolios,” said Amanda Heravi, Principal and…

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Superior Data Helps Drive Societal Impact

By | Cobalt GP, Commentary, News, Private Markets Industry Insights | No Comments

A recent article Wall Street Journal highlighted how many large asset managers like BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street are leveraging their industry stature and shareholder clout to raise awareness around the societal influence of the companies where they hold sizeable minority stakes. In a letter to the CEOs of companies in which his firm owns interests, BlackRock CEO, Larry Fink wrote, “you must also understand the societal impact of your business, as well as the ways that broad structural trends—from slow wage growth to rising automation to climate change—affect your potential for growth.” Fink’s note stresses to these companies the…

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Software Implementation: Understanding and Avoiding Delays

By | Business Intelligence, Cobalt GP, Commentary, FinTech, Private Equity Technology | No Comments

In many of the conversations we have with our Cobalt customers during the sales process, we frequently hear nightmarish anecdotes about their past experiences implementing new software. As software developers ourselves, we found these stories intriguing and decided to investigate the causes of these pain points. Software implementation is a structured approach to effectively integrate a software-based service into an organization’s workflow. Traditionally, implementation begins soon after a software product is purchased and is completed once the organization has fully integrated the new platform, replacing the legacy workflow. But while software, like most technology, is meant to innovate, it’s implementation can sometimes create…

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Press Release: Bison Announces New Round of Investment for Private Markets Software Product Suite, Cobalt

By | Cobalt GP, FinTech, Hamilton Lane, News, Press, Press Release, Top News | No Comments

BOSTON, Jan. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Bison, a fintech company focused on developing innovative software solutions for the private markets, has closed a funding round led by FINTOP Capital. Also participating are Bison’s existing investors, Hamilton Lane (NASDAQ: HLNE), a global private markets asset management firm, and GrandBanks Capital, a Boston-based VC firm. Along with the investment, Bison also announced Rick Kushel, General Partner of FINTOP, has joined Bison’s Board of Directors. The funding comes a little more than a year after the successful launch of Cobalt LP and Cobalt GP, a suite of business intelligence software products built by Bison for private fund managers and institutional investors….

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Cobalt GP Insight

Data is Here to Stay: Commentary from Hamilton Lane’s Back Office Best Practices

By | Business Intelligence, Cobalt GP, Commentary, Hamilton Lane, Private Equity Technology, Private Markets Industry Insights | No Comments

We recently attended the annual Hamilton Lane Back Office Best Practices day to connect with GPs and learn about their processes in a variety of back-office functions. While presentations on best practices were the primary focus of the day, one of our biggest takeaways from the event was that there is a data revolution underway. Throughout the day we heard a lot about the types of data requests made to private fund managers by both prospective investors and those who are already invested with GPs. The depth and breadth of these requests typically touch all parts of a GP’s business,…

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Doing More with Data Part II: Using Data to Create Impactful Quarterly Reports

By | Business Intelligence, Cobalt GP, FinTech, Investor Relations, Portfolio Company Analysis, Private Equity Technology | No Comments

In part I of Doing More with Data, we borrowed concepts from the world of data science and data-storytelling and applied them to portfolio reporting for private fund managers. In that post, we talked mostly about the what, “What is data-storytelling?” In this post, we’ll focus on the how, “How can I tell stories with data and enhance my reporting?” Here are a few examples of Narrative and Data Visualization working together to tell compelling stories about how a private fund manager created value within their portfolio: Job Creation & Revenue Growth We’ve written previously about using operational metrics to tell…

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Conference Commentary: Asset and Wealth 2017 Boston Alternatives

By | Cobalt GP, Commentary, Private Markets Industry Insights | No Comments

Kelli Stauff is the VP of Finance for Cobalt GP. An auditor by trade, Kelli handles everything from customer subscription plans to budgeting and accounting for our firm. Data is a big part of everything she does and she regularly works with both Cobalt and spreadsheets to manage and analyze various parts of our business, she is a data expert. She recently attended the “Asset and Wealth 2017 Boston Alternatives” conference hosted by PwC and we asked her to share with us her thoughts and experiences from the event. Here’s what she had to say: Last week, I attended the…

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Getting Your Data into Cobalt GP

By | Cobalt Data, Cobalt GP, FinTech, Private Equity Technology, Product Updates | No Comments

Private fund managers implement Cobalt to improve their processes around data collection, internal portfolio analysis, and client reporting. We begin by helping managers streamline their portfolio company data collection process, whether it’s through an enhancement of their current process or a completely new workflow. From there, we work closely with our clients to get all of their relevant historical portfolio and fund data into Cobalt and set-up processes that ensure the data flows seamlessly into the platform on a go-forward basis. Below is a quick rundown of the 3 most common ways we can get your data into Cobalt: Spreadsheet…

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Doing More with Data Part I: What GPs Can Learn from Data Science and Data Storytelling

By | Cobalt GP, Commentary, Investor Relations, Private Markets Industry Insights | No Comments

In a recent study published by the Chestnut Advisory Group, institutional investors were interviewed to understand what they value most in their quarterly reports. Not surprisingly, many found their quarterly reviews lacking. Some were drowning in a data overload. Yet others suffered from redundancy and over-simplification. Above all, what investors really wanted was a clear and concise story built upon data that helped them understand how their managers’ investment strategies and processes drove performance. While the Chestnut study is focused on hedge fund reporting, this problem absolutely still applies to the private equity space where GPs can be just as…

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What’s New with Cobalt: Portfolio Company Analytics, Deal-Level Comps, Custom Colors, and More

By | Business Intelligence, Cobalt GP, FinTech, Portfolio Company Analysis, Private Equity Technology | No Comments

We don’t spend a lot of time talking about ourselves on our blog, but as 2017 comes to an end we want to share some exciting new highlights from our product. What is Cobalt GP? Cobalt GP is a technology platform that private fund managers use to unlock their portfolio company data, develop insights, and streamline workflows with automated and customized reports and charts. What Makes Cobalt GP Unique? A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted the importance of finance teams moving out of Excel. Cobalt is the only web-based calculation engine built for the private markets that…

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