When you’re launching a new fund, timing is critical.
But despite the meticulous planning that goes into validating the idea, developing the right investment strategy, and obtaining all the necessary approvals, the launch process often ends up being drawn out, fragmented, and expensive.
So why does it take so long for new funds to go from idea to investor-ready product? And, more importantly, what can fund managers do to shorten the launch process and get to market sooner?
The single biggest cause for launch delays (is not what you think)
But while compliance can indeed be challenging, it’s not the main reason launching new products typically takes so long. Rather, research suggests the single biggest reason for delays are manual processes.
“[Manual processes] add risks to delivery,” a report from consultants Alpha notes.
Worse, “they make it difficult to understand the root / common causes of issues affecting delivery.” And that makes it next to impossible for firms to address them so they can speed up future launches.
At Fundipedia, we see this happen all the time.
The launch process typically gets kicked off with a single email, perhaps with an attached checklist in spreadsheet format. It’s then up to the different teams involved to do their bit and keep other teams updated (usually by hand).
This heavily manual workflow creates three huge issues.
First, it assumes everyone will perform their assigned tasks promptly, but that’s rarely the case. Launching a new product is one of several items on staff’s very full plates. Plus, not every delay is within the firm’s control.
Second, because the process typically isn’t formally documented, it’s not possible to create templates that can serve as a starting point and enable teams to consistently follow the same process. Instead, they have to start practically from scratch every time.
Manual data input is also prone to human error — according to an often-repeated statistic, 88% of spreadsheets have at least one critical mistake. Errors can cause further delays and put the firm at risk of fines and reputational damage.
Third, because it’s not possible to track progress from one place, it’s hard to get status updates and spot bottlenecks. Nor do you have a complete audit trail you can look at to check whether you’ve skipped any important steps — obtaining the right market identifier, for instance.
To put it more bluntly, emails, spreadsheets, and other manual processes mean the launch is undocumented, hard to control, and, ultimately, lacks proper oversight.
Streamline your launch workflow, with FundiLaunch
At Fundipedia, we’ve built a module — Fundi Launch Workflow — designed specifically to make it easier to manage funds and share classes at every stage of their lifecycle, from pre-launch to decommissioning.
With Fundi Launch Workflow, you’ll have a single unified view for all your product lifecycle workflows, management, and reporting, so you can assign tasks, track progress, and solve issues from one place.
Smart, pre-configured forms speed up data entry and keep the need for human input — and, so, the risk of mistakes — to a minimum. You can also create deadlines for each step in the process. And the notification system enables quick reviews and approvals, automatically escalating pending items if there are delays.
Crucially, Fundi Launch Workflow captures every single part of the workflow, including who has made changes and when, and enables signed agreements, reports, and other documents to get stored in the cloud and linked to completed tasks.
This means you’ll have a complete audit trail you can access whenever you need to in just a few clicks, so you can prove to regulators and other stakeholders you’ve done things by the book.
First-mover advantage has never been more important when it comes to launching new funds
It takes the average new fund 8 months to reach the market.
That’s 8 months in which other firms could swoop in and hoover up most of the available investment. Or in which investor demand could slow down. Or market forces could shift to the point where your brand new product is no longer financially viable.
With margins shrinking, competition becoming fiercer, and growth slowing due to economic uncertainty, this is simply not good enough. Speed is of the essence if your firm is to thrive in the years to come.
Fundi Launch Workflow can take the effort out of the launch process and ensure your data is always accurate and complete.
More to the point, the more you use it, the simpler your workflow becomes. Once you capture your current processes, you can streamline them, and add automations with ease to make future product launches even quicker and smoother.
Better still, the system regularly updates to take account of regulatory developments, giving you the peace of mind that your documents and reports are always compliant.
Our clients report that FundiLaunch can reduce launch time by an average of 31%. Why take eight stressful months to launch, when you could be up and running in under five?
Want to learn more about how Fundi Launch Workflow can help you streamline your product workflow so you can get to market faster, with less effort?